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Cornell University Library 
DG671.5 .R52 

The doges of Venice, 


3 1924 030 932 812 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

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the United States on the use of the text. 



Famous Ladies of the English Court 
The Lover of Queen Elizabeth 
Women of the Church of England 
The Mystic Bride— Catherine of Siena 








First Published in igi4 


THE wells are deep and bubble over into many 
cisterns — Italian, German, French, and English — 
from which life-tales of the Doges of Venice may be 

I have dipped into the sources of Dandolo, Sanudo, 
Navagero and their like, as edited by Muratori, and into the 
Calendar of State Papers, Venetian Series, the latest volumes 
of which (in particular vol. xvii.) contain so much of the ducal 
story that is valuable and as yet untapped by English writers. 
From the works of Romanin and Molmenti, who by virtue 
of their erudition and discernment are indeed " authorities," 
I have also largely drawn. An English historian of Venice 
of somewhat ponderous method, considers Romanin " dry." 
To me, his Stona Documentaia di Venezia is both flowing and 
pellucid. Neither his style nor his facts seem arid ; while 
Molmenti's Venezia Nella Vita Privata, and his La Dogaressa 
Di Venezia are perfect reservoirs of sparkling incident and 
inspiring character. 

With gratitude I have bailed from the flood of the thought- 
ful narrative and collated documents of Romanin, to fill the 
little channel of my Life-tales of the Doges of Venice. 

Contributory streams from Hazlitt's Venetian Republic, 
from Hodgson's Early History of Venice and his Venice in the 
Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, from Mrs. Ohphant's 
Makers and Ruskin's Stones, have also yielded informations 
and suggestions, for which I own a great indebtedness. 


This book of mine is the first to tell the stories of the 
hundred and twenty Doges of Venice consecutively and in full 
series. I claim, therefore, that it needed to be written and 
hope withal that it may be read with some part of the interest 
and fascination with which the tales retold in it have been 
perused by me. 


London, March 1914 



I. Heralds in the Dawn (700-809) 
II. Wooers of the Adriatic (809-960) 

III. Downfall of a Dynasty (960-991) 

IV. The Adriatic Won (991-1085) . 
V. The Doges of the Crusades (1085-1173) 

VI. Rulers of Sea and Land (i 173-1205) 

VII. Masterful Minds and Striking Personalities 
(120S-1275) ..... 

VIII. Reformation and Conspiracy (1280-1311) 

IX. Watch-dogs and Hounds of War (1311-1354) 

X. Tragedy in the Palace (1354-1365) . 

XI. Patriots, Purists and Profligates (i365-i)'4) 

XII. Peace and War in Complement (1414-1457) 

XIII. Worthies and a Kingly Patriot (1457-1521 

XIV. " Prince Charming " and " The Hero of Lepanto ' 


XV. Theology and a Woman of Wiles (1578-1605) 
XVI. Diplomacy and a Lady of Quality (1605-1624) 

XVII. Resistance to Reform and the Candiot War (1624- 


XVIII. The Glory of the Setting Sun (1667-1694) 
XIX. The Aftermath (1694-1779) 
XX. The Night of Doom (1779-1797) 

Index ..... 


The Fisherman bringing the Ring of St. Mark to Doge 

Bartolomeo Gradenigo .... Frontispiece 

From the Painting by P. Bordone in the Accademia di Belle Arti, 
Venice. Photo, Brogi 

FACING page; 

PlETRO OrSEOLO I. ...... 38 

From a Painting in the Palazzo Ducale, Venice. Photo, Anderson 


From a Painting in the Palazzo Ducale, Venice. Photo, Anderson 

Andrea Dandolo and the Veiled Place among the Ducal 

Portraits for Marino Faliero .... i66 
From a Painting in the Palazzo Ducale, Venice. Photo, Anderson 

MicHELE Steno . . . . . . -194 

From a Painting in the Palazzo Ducale, Venice. Photo, Anderson 

Francesco Foscari ...... 208 

From a Bust in the Museo Archeologico, Venice. Photoi Anderson 

NicOLO Tron ....... 234 

From a Painting in the Palazzo Ducale, Venice. Photo, Anderson 

Monument to Pietro Mocenigo in SS. Giovanni e Paolo, 

Venice ........ 236 

Photo, Alinari 

Giovanni Mocenigo . . . . • -238 

From the Painting by Bellini in the Museo Correr, Venice. Photo, 

Antonio Grimani . . . . • • • 248 

From the Painting by Titian in the Morosini Gallery, Venice. Photo, 


Antonio Grimani adoring Faith, with St. Mark and Lion 250 
From the Painting by Titian in the Palazzo Ducale, Florence. 
Photo, Alinari 



A Doge of the Venetian Republic .... 256 
From the Painting by Titian in the Vatican, Rome. Photo, Anderson 

Sebastiano Veniero ...... 264 

From the Painting by Tintoretto in the Uffizi, Florence. Photo, 

Marino Grimani ....... 274 

From the Painting by Tintoretto in the Palazzo Ducale, Venice. 
Photo, Anderson 

Francesco Morosini ...... 340 

From the Painting by Ludovico Dorigny in the Palazzo Ducale, 
Venice. Photo, Anderson 

* Paolo Renier ....... 370 

From the Painting by Gerolamo Prepiani in the Palazzo Ducale, 
Venice. Photo, Anderson 




A.D. 700 TO 809 

IT was the scourging of Italy by Attila that first set flowing 
from out her northern fastnesses the rivulets of thrifty, 
enterprising and craity inhabitants which gaining vol- 
ume, as in course of time invasions of the Huns were followed 
by encroachments of the Lombards, made at last many delta 
settlements. Of these, the linked isles of Venice came to the 
greatest consequence and fame. 

In a period of remote antiquity, the province to be known 
as Venetia had been overspread by a people called Venedi — 
probably the Sclavonic Wends — who, grafted on pure Latin 
stock, grew into a race of mental and physical hardihood, 
that needed only a goad of further exile to make it put forth 
its full strength. When the prick of the final excursion came, 
the Venetians removed in families and groups from the wealthy 
cities and fertile districts of the mainland, to the barren shores 
of the lagoons at the head of the Adriatic Sea. 

These shores had long been sparsely peopled by fisher-folk, 
who shared a rude communal life. But when Aquileia, Altino, 
Padua, Asolo, Concordia and other ancient strongholds, of 
which the lagoon habitations were already in some sort colonies, 
poured into the swamps a rich life-stock, there grew up 
quickly the notable people to whose "maritime tribunes" 
Cassiodorus the Goth (time of Theodoric the Great) wrote a 
letter in which he appealed to the " famous Venetians," as 


possessors of numerous ships, to help in the transport of oil 
and wine from Istria to Ravenna. ^The exiles had had full 
opportunity to develop into an organized state, between the 
time of Attila (fifth century) and the day of Cassiodorus (sixth). 
The path of progress was still unblocked between the sixth and 
eighth centuries. Invading armies kept to the fair roads and 
smiling plains that lay on the way to Rome. There was no 
divergence to the miserable marsh-lands. The hard-sought 
island peace remained inviolate. 

Even before the beginning of the eighth century, the lagoon 
populations had so multiplied in numbers and grown in prowess, 
seamanship and mercantile activity, that they needed a more 
powerful authority than a group of Tribunes to keep quiet and 
deal justice among themselves, as well as to parley with 
neighbouring Dukes and Exarchs and conquering Kings. The 
Tribunes may have been appointed by the government at 
Constantinople and merely accepted by the " famous Vene- 
tians " ; or they may have been, as many historians believe, 
locally elected by the doughty colonists. In any case, they 
were the captains of the fighting-men of the clustered yet dis- 
persed settlements, and they recognized one Master of the 
Soldiers, who was supreme in his own office. This of&ce, 
however, was strictly military. 

So when the time came for the men of Venice to feel, as 
they said, that it would be " more honourable to be under a 
Dulce (Doxe) than under Tribunes," they acclaimed in the 
higher rank a leader presented to them at Heraclea by 
Christopher, the Patriarch of Grado. 

We are informed of the special tasks for which Pauluccio 
Anafesto was created the first Doge of Venice about the year 
700, by the agreement entered into between him and the Lom- 
bard King whose capital was at Pavia. This treaty fixed the 
boundaries between Lombard and Heraclean (or Venetian) 
dominions and stipulated that the Venetians should be allowed 
to trade throughout the Lombard Kingdom, that the Lombards 
should not molest the cattle and horses on the pastures of the 
lagoon islands, and that the islanders should have the right, for 
an annual payment, of cutting timber in certain woods of the 


After Anafesto came Marcello Tagliano. He had been 
Master of the Soldiers under the first Doge, and his signature 
was appended with Anafesto's to the treaty with the Lombards. 
The third Doge was Orleo Orso, of whom it may be sur- 
mised that he espoused the Byzantine cause when disputes 
arose between Leo, the Eastern Emperor, and Gregory, the 
Western Pope, concerning the Imperial decree forbidding the 
use of images in churches. It is doubtful, however, whether 
it was this Doge, or a subsequent Master of Soldiers, during a 
five years' interregnum (737-742), who sent a fleet to assist the 
Emperor's men in re-taking Ravenna and provided an asylum 
for the Greek Exarch when King Liutprand the Lombard, 
professing zeal for images and image-worship; took the cities 
of Rimini, Pesaro, Fano, Singaglia and Ancona, on his way to 
a siege of Ravenna. 

The special services which Orso rendered to the Imperial 
government may have consisted only in coming to the assist- 
ance of the Greeks when the Lombards threatened the 
security and freedom of Venice, but he was certainly dignified 
in return for them by the title of Hypatos or Consul. Doge 
Orso's repute in Venetian story is that of a ready fighter and 
wary diplomatist who preferred to pay homage to the distant 
head of an ill-governed Empire, rather than to be a liege of 
a nearer and more aggressive power. It is recorded also that 
Orso gained many political liberties and commercial advan- 
tages for his people. A herald in the dawn, his figure stands 
veiled in mists of fancy and tradition, but a sense of the Im- 
perial destiny of Venice may be descried in him. He associ- 
ated- his son with himself in his rule and dreamed maybe of 
regal rank for his successors. His reign came to a troublous 
end. He, himself, was violently assaulted and slain by mal- 
contents of Equilo, now Jesolo. The growing Tribunates — 
for the Tribunes exercised their functions in their districts, as 
before the nomination of a Doge — had become jealous of the 
dominance of Heraclea. In particular, the inhabitants of 
Equilo were envious of Heraclea's renown of great antiquity. 

It became a democratic grievance that the privilege of 
Dogeship had been confined to aristocrats of Heraclea. Fights 
and massacres grew common. The disputes made it impossible 


for the islanders to agree upon another Doge. Deodato 
Orso, son of Orleo, was banished, and a Master of the Soldiers, 
to whose military duties some judicial functions were added, 
was again constituted the Chief Officer of the State. His 
office was a yearly one. The Doges had been chosen for life. 

Exile did not stultify Deodato's hereditary aptitude for 
rule. Before the revival of the Dogeship, he was recalled and 
made a Master of the Soldiers. And when to defy Lombard 
menaces, appease island jealousies and foster commercial and 
political relations with Constantinople, the seat of the Venetian 
government was removed from Heraclea to Malamocco on the 
Lido, at a mouth of the river Brenta, which ran direct to that 
port from Padua, and with a harbour readily accessible from the 
east, it was Deodato Orso who was acclaimed the reinstated 
Doge — Orso ii. 

Imperially-minded like his father, he recognized that the 
islands must be fortified, and breaches in the natural and chief 
defences of lagoon and morass stoutly supplied with forts. 
But neither wisdom nor practicality could save him from 
attacks of the political faction of Equilo. That he was by 
birth an Heraclean, seems to have been his only crime. He 
planned the defence of Venice as a whole — the Venice that 
stretched from Grado in the north, skirting Treviso and Padua 
on the Una firma, and embracing the islands and lidi of the 
lagoons, as far as Chioggia, Brondolo and the mouth of the 
Adige river on the south. 

In pursuit of this plan, he was one day surveying the 
works at Brondolo, an important point for the protection of 
Malamocco and the lagoons, when he was seized upon by Galla 
Gaulo of Equilo and, as some authorities say, assassinated ; as 
others, blinded and deposed. 

Galla Gaulo of Equilo followed up his attack on Deodato 
by making himself master of Malamocco, and there proclaiming 
himself the Doge. His usurped authority lasted only a year and 
he suffered the same fate he had meted to his predecessor. 

To him succeeded by more legal processes Domenico 
MoNENGARio of Malamocco, who was elected rather to appease 
the vanity and ambitions of the Malamoccans than for any 
claim of personality. This method did not procure a better 


government. Ferocious, stubborn and sensual, although with 
the courage of his passions, Domenico needed the brake upon 
his impulses which the Venetians thought to supply by appoint- 
ing two of the Tribunes as assistants and advisers of his ofl&ce. 
Whether they aided him in administration or not, they proved 
but a light curb on his furies and cruelties. He, too, was 
blinded and deposed, a.d. 764. 

After Domenico, the pendulum of popular choice swung 
back. A Doge was acclaimed for that he was a just, temperate, 
politic and religious man, and the reign of Maurizio Galbaio 
proved a good reign. It must be admitted, however, that he 
reigned at what, for Venite, was a good time. 

While Deodato had yet been at the head of affairs, a great 
change, never to be without its consequence in the stories of the 
Doges of Venice, had taken place in the policy of Rome. This 
change lay in the casting off by the Roman Pontiff of the 
dominion of the Eastern Emperor and his Exarch, and in the 
asking for succour for the Holy See, of a young but rising 
world-power, the power of the Franks. 

The fame of one who had gained on a field between Tours 
and Poictiers, the most signal victory ever won for Christen- 
dom against Mahommedanism, was at this time sounding 
throughout Europe. ChsLrles Martel was appealed to, but his 
day had run its course. His son Pepin answered the Pope's 
caJl. During the Dogeship of Deodato, the Frankish Prince 
drove Astolphus the Lombard out of Ravenna and received 
the title of " Patrician of Rome." A little later, the Holy 
Father found a way of sanctioning the' deposition of the roi 
faineant of France, and of approving the elevation to all regal 
titles and honours, of Pepin le Bref. 

Before this seal was set on the authority of the Franks, it 
had become a burning question in Venice whether friendship 
with a western or an eastern overlord were the more desir- 
able. Old trade and social connexions as well as present 
needs of commerce and art, bound the Venetians in strands 
of sentiment and interest to their Byzantine Suzerain. Yet 
it was to be seen by all with«yes that the Frank was a neigh- 
bour whose enmity, should it be roused, would prove more 
formidable than that of the supplanted Lombard. The f ounda- 


tions of the Empire that so quickly consoUdated and extended 
under the son of the Uttle Pepin, were being laid. The lull in 
Venetian feuds and strifes that came in the time of good Doge 
Maurizio, came, therefore, not wholly of his wisdom, but partly 
because contests between the Lombards and the Franks re- 
moved the theatre of strife from the eastern coasts to the 
northern and Roman districts of Italy. During the lull, the 
Doge became aware that the population of the lagoon cities 
had so greatly increased that a new Bishop was needed. 
Olivolo, twin island with Rivoalto, was designated as the 
place for the prelate's enthronization. Dorsoduro and Luprio, 
as well as Rivoalto and Ohvolo (now Rialto and Castello), were 
included in this see, and the Church of St. Peter became the 
Cathedral of Venice. The name of the first Bishop of Olivolo 
was Obelerius. He was a son of a Tribune of Malamocco. 

Ecclesiastical affairs of another nature occupied Doge 
Giovanni Galbaio, son of good Maurizio. Giovanni had been 
associated with his father in the government, and, upon his 
own succession, took his son, another Maurizio, as his colleague 
in the Dogeship. Both Giovanni and the younger Maurizio 
were conservative in their deferences to Constantinople. They 
opposed an alliance with the Franks which was advocated by 
the Patriarch of Grado, who had been moved to take his stand 
by the rumours of a great fleet being built by Pepin, the son of 
Charlemagne, at Ravenna. Perhaps if the Patriarch of Grado's 
counsels had been heeded, the builder of that fleet had never 
turned his arms on the Venetians, as he shortly did. However 
that may be, the Doges Giovanni and Maurizio issued a 
counterblast to the Prankish party by appointing to the 
See of Olivolo a young Greek, one Christopher, a boy of sixteen. 
The Patriarch retaliated by refusing to consecrate the stripling 
and Doge Maurizio went quickly with a fleet to Grado, to punish 
him in his own place. There was a fight in the streets and 
the Patriarch was captured. It was not only because of his 
objection to the Greek appointment that the ducal revenge 
was taken. Christopher may have been nominated in order 
to provoke the Archbishop. The time had come, in the esti- 
mation of the Galbaii, for a repulse of assaults made upon 
their popularity because of their Byzantine devotion. So 


with ruthless vengeance, the already wounded Archbishop 
was cast down from a high tower of his palace. In cold blood 
the Doge ordered this terrible execution, but the flood was 
hot that spread upon the pavement where the Patriarch's 
body fell. It so scalded and dyed the place, that there re- 
mained on the stones for many and many a generation a red 
brand of the infamy of the son and grandson of good Doge 
Maurizio. Such indications of martyrdom do not quickly pale 
when diligence and design work for the attraction of pilgrims 
and devotees. 

But a sorry doom faUs on tyrants who belabour spokes- 
men of disaffection, without seeking to remove the reasons 
of their contempts. The murder of the Archbishop brought 
the cause he led into greater prominence, and created sym- 
pathy where before there had been indifference. 

The party for the Franks grew in importance. The 
antagonism to the Doges and their Greek favourites became 
violent. It is true that the Father-Doge joined his son in 
Grado, and countenanced the election there of Fortunatus, 
a nephew of the martyr, to succeed his uncle. These con- 
ciliatory steps came tardily, and could neither save the homi- 
cides from popular anger, nor protect them from prelatical 
indignation. Whether by intention or no, the appointment 
of Fortunatus was unpopular. He could not convert those 
of his flock whom business considerations held to the Greek 
heresies. A party of Venetians and Greeks rose against him, 
and he appealed to the Pontiff and to Charlemagne for venge- 
ance. Pope Leo iii wrote a letter to the Monarch, requesting 
his good offices for one who had been driven into exile by the 
persecutions of the Greeks and the Venetians. Fortunatus 
presented this letter to Charlemagne, then holding court in 
Franconia. It is an old surmise that the Archbishop was 
accompanied on his mission by the true leader of the Frankish 
party, Obelerio degli Antenori, who obtained then and 
there the hand of a daughter of Charlemagne for his wife, 
together with promises of help in his designs on the ducal 

The truth seems to be that Fortunatus went alone to 
Franconia, while Obelerio, who had been banished from the 


Venetian dominion, repaired with some expelled followers 
to Treviso. Either at this time or later, he undoubtedly 
married a Prankish woman who was the first Dogaressa 
to play an important part in Venetian story, but there is no 
proof that she was one of the great Charles's many daughters, 
legitimate or illegitimate. Her influence over her husband 
has always been accounted sinister, and it was believed that 
it was by her persuasions that he sold his country to the 
western Potentate. Her husband, however, had wiles enough 
without incitements from her. His conspiracies against the 
Galbaii grew more determinate. He and his coadjutors in 
their secure retreat, just across the border of the mainland in 
Frankish territory, skilfuUy fomented the disturbances which 
the shameful lives, more than the mistaken policies, of the 
Doges provoked. The day of destiny came at last. A popular 
outburst, more tumultuous than any preceding one, scared 
the Galbaii into flight. Giovanni went to Mantua ; Maurizio 
to an undefined spot in Francia. 

Then was the hour for the passing of a Doge proclaimed 
in Treviso to the seat of government in Malamocco. Once 
in the long-coveted position, Obelerio's craft and faithlessness 
were revealed. Almost his first act was to call his brother 
Beato — of known Greek sympathies — to share the throne 
with him. This was good in so far as it was conciliatory. It 
was bad in that it was a denial of a faith in the man who had 
battled for the Western alliance and the Roman devotion, 
as for a political good and a religious blessing that justified 
revolt against duly appointed rulers. It was bad too, because 
of its re-association of the family principle with the Dogeship. 
Not by elevation to hereditary royalty, but by election for 
his sole life, had the wise old Pauluccio Anafesto come by his 
office, and he at least had not assumed that it could be other- 
wise. Yet Obelerio's division of his honours with his brother, 
as old Maurizio's sharing of them with his son, was in itself a 
pardonable act, and might have been accounted a purely 
htiman one, had it not been for the character of the man 
which other deeds and policies revealed. Less human, if at once 
weaker and more daring, was Obelerio's treatment of Fortu- 
natus. Far from recalling the Archbishop, or advancing 


his authority in his province, it was an early concern of 
Obelerio, with Beato already at his side, to summon to a 
place where strife had been loudest and most energetic—" the 
Lido of the pine-woods "—a council of the island tribunes. 
In that council he appropriated to himself all jurisdiction 
over the lands between Heraclea and Grado which had until 
then been vested in the Patriarch. This step was imme- 
diately followed by the complete destruction of Heraclea. 
It must be remembered that the Galbaii were Heracleans 
by birth, although they reigned at Malamocco. The degli 
Antenori, however, had been Malamoccans for generations. 
So desolate did Obelerio render the old capital, that its remain- 
ing inhabitants were forced to remove in small groups to 
Malamocco, Torcello and Rialto. In driving out the remnant 
of the population, the Doge certainly overturned a hotbed 
of Greek sympathizers and good lieges of Byzantium. Yet 
from all accounts of the affair, he seems to have carried 
it out in a vindictive, if not treacherous manner. It was the 
same with his appropriation of the lands of the Archiepiscopate 
of Grado. Provident and necessary as the appropriation 
may have been politically, it was personally a deed of deception 
and ingratitude. Fortunatus had a right to better treatment 
from the bandit he had helped to a throne. 

Unlike the destruction of Heraclea, the seizure of the Grado 
Church properties had been a move in the direction of Greek 
methods of government. At Constantinople, the Pope 
of the Eastern Church was little more than an officer of 
the Emperor's court ; a minister of his will concerning the 
religion of his people. At Rome, the pontiff was raising his 
head among the princes of the earth. Pepin had crowned 
a repetition and an extension of his former victories over 
Ravenna and other cities and districts of the eastern co£ist 
of Italy, with the " donation " of lands to Leo in which laid 
the foTindations of the temporal power of the Popes. Obelerio 
may have been influenced by his brother when he seized the 
possessions of the Archbishopric. They certainly shared 
the spoils of the appropriation, although Beato took no 
active part in the destruction of Heraclea. Reasons of 
state may have induced Obelerio to put himself right with 


the Greek party. These reasons, it would appear, were 
recognized by Charlemagne, or perhaps Obelerio kept the 
Monarch privately assured, through the Dogaressa, that he 
was still at heart in the interests of the West. It had been 
the Western Emperor's great wish to put down the slave- 
trade in Venice as elsewhere, but considerations of Greek 
business practices made the time-serving Obelerio fearful of 
allowing Fortunatus, who had a commission from Charlemagne 
to repress the un-Christian, but very profitable traffic, to come 
back to Grado. Nevertheless, some collusion of the Arch- 
bishop while in Istria helped Obelerio in a predatory expedi- 
tion he made in Dalmatia ; creating panic as he went and, as 
it would seem, subduilig the country at last to recognition 
at Zara of a Doge of Venetian appointment. Whatever the 
exact itinerary and result of Obelerio's expedition, it repre- 
sented an act of aggression of the Western on the Eastern 
Empire. Dalmatia had long been under the sway of Con- 
stantinople. Yet we find the Doge-brethren of Venice going 
with a Doge of Zara to the Court of Charlemagne in the 
year 886, doing homage to that Monarch, and receiving from 
him certain directions concerning the conduct of their own 
affairs and those of their respective countries. 

This proceeding was not approved of at the Court on the 
Bosphorus. Beato had taken part in it, and his association 
with the anti-Greek manoeuvre, as well as the series of 
dramatic events that were the outcome of the pilgrimage of 
the three Doges to Aix-la-Chapelle, reveal to us very pictur- 
esquely the position of Venice at this period and for some time 
after. In command of the northern shores of the Adriatic, 
with a natural monopoly of the carrying trade between the 
old world and the new, between the languishing and luxuriantly 
rich and artistic kingdoms of the East and the growing, but 
as yet ill-supplied and uncultivated peoples of the West, Venice 
was useful to both east and west, as a buffer and a market-place^ 
Nay more, Venice with her sturdy island inhabitants, her 
crafty and resourceful politicians, and the rising passion of her 
people for communal development and freedom, was a Republic 
so constructed by nature and art, by the accidents of circum- 
stance and geographical position, that in all final resorts it was 


easier and more profitable for both world-powers to maintain 
Venice free, than to hold her bound. 

But the independence of the Venetians was one matter, 
their dominance of Dalmatia quite another. 

Within a year from the foregathering of the three Doges 
and Charlemagne, a Greek fleet sailed up the Adriatic, and the 
array of galleys was sufficiently imposing to strengthen the 
loyalty of all Venetians who genuinely preferred the almost 
nominal suzerainty of the East to the threatening over-lordship 
of the West, but whose knees failed them for fear, in the 
presence of their Frank-supported and Frank-upholding 
Doges. The courage of Beato too, which had perhaps been 
dashed by a speU of apparent neglect on the part of the 
Eastern Emperor, revived at the sight of the demonstration 
in force from Constantinople. Borne on a wave of popular 
feeling or personal fear, Obelerio re-assured the Greeks by a 
hospitable reception, and it was probably for this that he was 
rewarded by the title of Spatharios, and Beato, whom the 
Greek commander wisely took back to Constantinople, by that 
of Hypatos. About a year later Beato returned to Venice, 
and popular approval of his conduct was then so strongly 
manifested, that a third brother, Valentino — also in the 
Greek interest — was associated in the Dogeship. 

Following Beato came another' fleet from the Bosphorus 
which, throughout the winter of 808-9, ^^Y moored among the 
islands. In the spring, it slipped forth to attack Commachio, 
a port at the mouth of the Po, in Frankish bounds. 

This attack was not successful. Its only result seems to 
have been that of stirring up the anger of Pepin against the 
party in Venice that had influenced Obelerio to harbour a 
Greek fleet in Venetian waters. It has been supposed that a 
later refusal of the Venetians to aid in a projected conquest 
of the maritime cities of Dalmatia further infuriated Pepin, 
or at least determined him to obtain from the Doge an overt 
recognition of his right of lordship over Venice. Be that as 
it may, Pepin from Ravenna began a march on Brondolo, 
Chioggia and Palestrina, while Frankish armies from the 
north and west approached the lagoon strongholds with 
devastating steps. Then the wrath of the Venetians, far from 


being expended on their own Greek inclinations, was turned 
on their Doges, whom they suspected of having secretly invoked 
this incursion of King Pepin. 

The plan of attack had certainly been encouraged by 
mistaken accounts of the warlike condition and political 
attitude of the Venetians, given by the still exiled Fortunatus 
of Grado. 

Descriptions of the end of Obelerio differ. There is an 
opinion that both he and Beato were driven from the govern- 
ment at this time, and it is variously stated that Obelerio 
was deposed and banished ; that he and his foreign wife were 
Eissassinated ; that he fled with his spouse to the court of 
Charlemagne ; and that he retired to Mantua and was subse- 
quently sent to Constantinople, whence he returned years 
later to disturb once more the peace of his native state. 
The most believable of all the statements is that which affirms 
that at this moment of popular suspicion of the patriotism 
of the Doges, Beato asserted himself and proved his own 
loyalty to Venice and the Grecian friendship, by chasing his 
brother Obelerio from his throne and country, and taking with 
the still younger Doge Valentino the chief part in the defence 
of the Venetian islands and lagoons. 

Some treachery in Obelerio seems indeed to have invited 
the apparition of Pepin, " King of Italy," at the gate of the 
lagoons. Although the southern coast towns of the Venetian 
province lay invested in his army's wake, and cities of the 
northern sea-belt, like Grado, Caorle and Jesolo, were simul- 
taneously seized by other bodies of troops under Frankish 
command, Pepin's disposition to parley rather than to fight 
before the defences of Malamocco, shows that he came to claim 
a heritage rather than to conquer a foe, and that the resistance 
to him, though stout, was the, resistance of tenacious holders of 
civic liberties. 

The story of the siege of Malamocco and the attempt to 
assail Rialto, which ended in disaster for the army of Pepin, 
has been often told. The part of Doge Beato in the story 
is not defined, although it is likely that he conducted the 
strategical retreat of the inhabitants from Malamocco to 
Rialto, which was the master-move of the defence. Even 


before that retreat, Pepin with his regiments of infantry and 
bodies of cavalry " camped on the mainland over against the 
ferry to the Venetian islands, in a place called Aeilbole," and 
■(vith his small fleet of capacious transports was powerless 
against the Venetians, who had " blocked up the passage with 
a barricade of ships' yards." From vessels behind these yards 
the islanders kept up a fire of arrows and other missiles, which 
the position of Pepin prevented him from returning effect- 
ively. In vain did the King himself call out to them, " Ye 
are under my hand and my providence, since ye came from my 
land and my dominions." The Venetians would not yield 
to the reminder that as a people they came anciently from 
lands now forming part of the domain of the heir of Charle- 
magne. They answered him, perhaps by the mouth of Beato, 
certainly in words that were an echo of Beato's resolution, 
" We will be the servants of the King of the Romans (meaning 
the Greek Emperor), and not of thee." 

In the end, Pepin forced the obstructed passage and got 
across to the island, but only to find that the taunting showers 
of arrows and words that had kept him at bay for so long had 
been the cover for a surer impediment to his conquest. The 
capital had been deserted. 

At this point of the narrative enters upon the scene the 
famous old woman, solitary remnant of the population Pepin 
had hoped to take en masse. With foolish whine that disguised 
femininely her feminine subtlety and art, the aged goody offered 
to tell the noble Prince all that she knew about everything, 
which was that the Doge and all the people had crossed the 
lagoon to Rialto, a place she described with cunning as a city 
in the midst of the sea. Then, most tremulously, she pro- 
fessed her own imbecility, but, as some annahsts tell, suggested, 
if she might humbly venture to do so, that the conqueror 
should return to the mainland and find a spot inhabited by 
her relatives, who would advise King Pepin of a way to reach 
Rialto. Another story goes that the crone asked that two 
Prankish maidens might accompany her in a boat to Rialto, 
where she would find out surreptitiously through her refugee 
relations there, the best means of conveying Pepin's troops 
thither, since his vessels were of too large draught for the 


lagoon. She made her journey and, once in Rialto, related 
all the circumstances to the Doge, who, after consultation 
with his Council, sent representatives to treat with Pepin, to 
whom, in the meantime, relatives of the old woman had gone 
with the advice to make a bridge of rafts, upon which men and 
horses could be propelled across the shallows to Rialto. 

Supposing the legend to have truth for its foundation, 
there was much contrivance in leaving the poverina in Mala- 
mocco and more in referring the Frank to her relations, whose 
advice to him to make bridges of boards bound with ropes, 
was a master-stroke of policy. The bridges become a flotilla 
in some versions of the story, and there are accounts of the 
waiting of the islanders and their Doge for the approach of 
Pepin's fleet of rafts across the unmarked waste of the lagoon. 
The Venetians' knowledge of the shoals and deeps, currents 
and tides of their own waters, was pitted against the ignorance 
of the continental invaders. Such knowledge was bound to 
prevail against such ignorance. As the rudely made crafts 
approached Rialto in disorder, an armed fleet of smart and 
serviceable vessels slipped out from behind Castello, and, 
sailing on a tide that set from them towards the invaders, 
bore down upon such of the clumsy platforms as made any 
advance at all, destroying and sinking them in great numbers. 
Others foundered in the shoals ; others weakly split asunder 
and went down with their loads of men, horses and weapons. 
Many persons were drowned; so many, that the canal by 
which they entered the lagoon was long called the Canal 
of the Orphans. 

Then was Beato's opportunity to treat, and there seems 
no reason for disbelief of the picturesque tale that Pepin's 
request to be allowed to visit the island of wonderful natural 
defence, was answered by a progress of the Doge to Malamocco, 
where he greeted the King and concluded terms of peace with 
him. Beato remained in Malamocco to watch the dispatch 
by Pepin of band after band of the troops he now undertook 
to send forth from Venetian territory. Then the two rulers 
proceeded to the new capital with a stately convoy of the 
barks and ships that had accompanied the Doge's vessel on his 
outward journey. In the Grand Council, King Pepin was 


made a Noble Tribune and a Gentleman of Venice, and he 
confirmed to Beato the independence and other privileges 
which had been recogliized as the right of Venetians in the 
time of Doge Anafesto. To the domain of legend rather than 
of history belong the sayings and doings of King Pepin and 
Doge Beato in the new city of Venice. Yet for ages it was a 
dear faith of Venetian patriots that from understandings then 
arrived at concerning the freedom of the river mouths of the 
northern Adriatic, the Sea of Adria first got the name of Gulf 
of Venice. It was believed also that at this time the Doge 
first assumed the biretta which, by a process of natural de- 
velopment, became the jewelled Corno that remained always 
the most distinctive emblem of the ducal office. This biretta 
was supposed to have been given to Beato by Pepin, King 
of Italy, the Western Emperor's son. 

Upon the departure of Pepin from Venice, the Doge with 
his nobles accompanied him on a vessel of special size and 
build — a precursor of the Bucintoro. It is further related 
that, on the outskirts of Venetian territory, Beato met face to 
face his brother Obelerio, the traitor, who waited for the 
news of the spoiling of his country by the Monarch to whom 
he had tried to sell it. The fifteenth-century chronicler of 
this encounter — Navagero — ^is always more picturesque and 
patriotic than exact, and it may or may not have been a fact 
that the degli Antenori came face to face at that time and in 
that way. In idea, certainly, they confronted each other, 
for Obelerio betrayed his trust as ruler of the freedom-loving 
Venetians, while Beato remained loyal to the ideal of liberty 
he shared with his fellow-countrymen. 


A.D. 809 TO 960 

VERY shortly after the departure of King Pepin from 
Rialto, Doge Beato degU Antenori either died and 
was buried with pomp in the Church of San Teodoro 
on the island, or was banished to Zara. Both fates have 
been recorded of him. One cannot say which is the true 
one. In any case, a Doge of a family more honourable than 
the degli Antenori was proclaimed before the year 811. 

Agnello Partecipazio had worked with Beato, yet 
independently, to disconcert the Franks. From the first, his 
plan must have been politically constructive, rather than 
strategically defensive. His aim was not only to elude the 
dominion of Pepin; he had the design also of establishing 
a new capital, and claiming Venice for the Venetians. He 
may therefore be accounted the first Doge who truly ruled 
from Rialto, even as he was the first to be elected there in 
popular arengo, and the first to build a palace on the site of 
the present Palazzo Ducale. 

A Tribune of Rialto but an Heraclean by birth, the first 
of the Partecipazii, surnamed also Badoeri, was as fitted by 
race and position, as by character and attainment, to become 
the Doge at this crisis. His proceedings salved many provincial 
jealousies, for while he fostered the growth of the capital on 
the spot indicated by the Finger of God as the one site for 
the citadel of Venetian greatness, he caused his native 
Heraclea to be rebuilt and to be given the name of Civita Nuova. 
In ±)ie scheme of his activities, only Malamocco seems to 
have been neglected, but as that town was a stronghold of 



Prankish interest, it was wisdom to neglect it. It was wisdom 
also to send his eldest son, Giustiniani, to the Court at 
Byzantium on the twofold mission of congratulating the new 
Emperor Leo and of ascertaining the exact terms of a recent 
treaty between Charlemagne and the late Emperor Nicephorus. 
By this compact Venice had been recognized as outside 
the domain of western lordship, although owner of many 
possessions and privileges in the West. 

The restlessness of the turbulent prelate Fortunatus, who 
was recalled to his see through the benignity of the new 
Doge, but who continued to lead a Frankish party, caused 
trouble in the early part of Agnello's reign. A plot which 
included in its designs the assassination of the Doge, was 
discovered only just in time. The expulsion from his see of 
the restored Archbishop seems to have been facilitated by 
some treachery of his to his own party. He made over- 
tures to the government at Constantinople to which the 
new Emperor, Ludovico, objected, and remained for some 
time longer a troubler of Western peace. 

Yet a man's worst foes are those of his own house and 
his own nature. The irrepressible parental instinct, cause of 
so much good and so much bad in the Venetian, as in many 
another story, led Agnello Partecipazio, as it had led good 
Maurizio Baldaio before him, to associate a son with him in 
the government. The elder, Giustiniani, being in the East, it 
was the younger, Giovanni, who became joint-Doge with 
his father; and Giovanni inclined greatly towards a Western 
connexion. Although the death of Charlemagne had weakened 
the Frankish power, Giovanni was tempted to take the place 
of Fortunatus as chief of the party of conspiracy in the State. 
His turbulent inclinations remained undiscovered until the 
return of Giustiniani. Then the natural jealousy of a senior 
brother called upon to give precedence and reverence to a 
junior, led that senior, after making some unheeded com- 
plaints, to retire from the palace and to go with his wife 
Felicia into semi-cloisteral life in a religious house attached 
to the Church of San Sever 0. But, whether by suspicions 
cast by Giustiniani, or by informations of others, the eyes 
of the old Doge were opened at last to see in his colleague-son 


a spark of incendiary danger that could not be allowed to 
smoulder in state-of&ce. An extinguisher was put upon 
Giovanni's hot Francophilism by his banishment to Zara, 
whence he escaped to the court of Louis the Pious in France. 
His father's insistence drove hira from that asylum, and 
forced him at last to retire to Constantinople. 

Giustiniani then came forth from his solemn retreat to 
share the ducal dignity, and the leisurely beneficence of the 
joint rule of his father and himself is proof of passive years 
of prosperity in Venice. Very many famous churches and 
monasteries were founded in their time ; and among other 
relics sent by the Eastern Emperor to Agnello and Giustiniani, 
were (so it was piously believed) a fragment of the True Cross 
and the body of Zaccharias, father of John the Baptist. 
Almost simultaneously the Church and Monastery of San 
Lorenzo, the monastery of SS. Ilario and Benedetto and the 
convent of San Zaccaria were founded by the Doges and 
their kinsmen. To aid the erection of these pious monu- 
ments, the iconoclast Emperor Leo sent master-architects 
and rich treasures of building and decorative material. But 
it was after the elder Doge had been gathered to his fathers, 
that there came into the mind of Giustiniani a plan of ex- 
ceeding piety which was also a project of political intent. 

A call had come to the Venetians from the Emperor 
Michael, the Stammerer, to join in a holy war against the 
Saracens, who were already overrunning the territories that 
had cradled the Christian faith — Syria, Palestine and Egypt — 
and already occupying the islands of the Mediterranean. They 
had even begun, insidiously as traders, if not ostentatiously 
as warriors, to swarm on the Italian mainland. The methods 
of repulse the Venetians were asked to adopt were those of 
reinforcing a naval expedition against Sicily and of severing 
commercial relations with all Mussulmans in the East. The 
merchant-fleets from the lagoons were not to put into Moorish 
ports nor to interchange commodities with followers of 
Mahomet. There were, however, no injtmctions issued 
against salvage of Christian relics from the on-rushing flood 
of Mahommedanism, and there lay in Egypt some precious 
remains of a virtue and a rank not inferior in quality and 


standing to those of the blessed St. Peter and St. Paul at 
Rome. If St. Mark could be brought to Rialto, would not 
Venice possess a shrine as greatly to be venerated as the 
ancient capital of Italy itself could boast ? Yet it was not 
to wield a sovereign ecclesiastical power such as the Bishop 
of Rome had just begun to exercise, but to proclaim once 
and for all the Venetian right to a religious autonomy of the 
kind practised by the Western and Eastern Empires, that 
Giustiniani, Doge of Venice, connived at the abstraction of 
the embalmed corpse of St. Mark from its cere-clothes at 

The tale of how the sweet-smelling mummy was removed 
from its sealed vestment and secretly conveyed in a chest, 
beneath joints of the pork held in horror of Mussulmans, to the 
ship of the adventurers who carried out the design of the 
Doge, has been often related. The concern of these pages is 
the part taken by Giustiniani in the snthronement on Venetian 
ground, in Venetian fancy, ay, and in Venetian hearts, of 
the missionary of many wanderings, who had been — so it was 
held — founder of the Church of Aquileia, although he had 
not consecrated the ancient see by laying his bones there. 
No, rather, so the legends told, had the lion-hearted pilgrim 
pressed on to the inmost isles of the lagoons and, pausing 
on desolate Rialto, had heard a voice from Heaven saying : 
" Peace be to thee, Mark ; here shall thy body rest." Was it 
not fitting, therefore, that Rialto should possess, itself, and 
bestow upon the whole of Venice, a special rank among sacred 
cities ? Was it not well that the goveiniment of Doge Gius- 
tiniani and his successors throughout the ages, should become 
the special concern of a Saint-Evangelist in whose name 
all national acts might be undertaken and accomplished ; 
aU national desires and plans — as distinct from and dominant 
over purely ecclesiastical ones — be sanctified and made 
righteous ? 

If Doge Giustiniani Partecipazio performed no other 
deed whereby he may be accorded fame, this that he did in 
causing the reputed body of St. Mark to be brought into the 
palace of the Doges, was an act of statecraft and of patriot- 
ism that must be celebrated throughout all time. The 


home of the head of the Venetian state, which was also the 
office of the Executive of the free Venetian people, was holy 
spot enough on which to lay great Mark, the companion of St. 
Paul and St. Barnabas in their epoch-making mission journey ; 
the literary disciple of St. Peter ; the Evangelist of peculiarly 
forceful diction and courageous faith. What pride in the 
Venetians and in their Doge was there not signified by the 
little procession that went forth pompously one day in January 
829, to meet the bier on which the holy relic had been brought 
with rejoicings from the deck of the little vessel where it had 
lain in state throughout a miraculously calm passage of the 
Adriatic ! The Grand Piazza was as a planted field , in that 
far-distant day ; the ducal palace, a modest dwelling, hard to 
re-edify in imagination after centuries of reconstruction in 
fact, have stamped the mind of western civilization with an 
architectural expression of the glories of the Venetian Doge- 
ship which is not easy to blot out. As for the national shrine, 
only the chapel of San Teodoro abutting on the garden of the 
convent of San Zaccaria, broke the expanse covered long 
since by the Church of San Marco. 

Not in any detail could Doge Giustiniani hav6 foreseen 
the greatness to be, yet in scheme it was undoubtedly in his 
mind, as, with his Dogaressa, Felicia, and his brother Giovanni, 
recalled from exile, he led the rites that solemnized the bring- 
ing of St. Mark to the Palace of the Doges. 

Upon his deathbed, Giustiniani made a will constituting 
his wife and her sister, Romana, heiresses of his money and 
goods, and bequeathing the Dogeship to his brother Giovanni, 
who already shared the ducal honours. 
, In Doge Giovanni's time, the building of the Church of 
St. Mark in its first Byzantine form was begun. The walls 
were reared, and the pavements laid above and around the 
exposed foundations of San Teodoro's chapel and the scarcely 
beaten pathways of San Zaccaria's garden. In Giovanni's 
time also the office of Primocerio (Dean) of St. Mark was 
created, and the precious, fragrant remains of the Holy Evan- 
gelist given into the custody of this dignitary and his chapter 
of Procurators, who thenceforward ranked under the Doge 
as the highest ecclesiastical and lay functionaries of the state. 


But the days of Doge Giovanni were troublous ones as, 
in justice, they had need to be, since he himself had been 
such a trouble to the state in his father's reign. The accredited 
incursion of Obelerio in 829, was a last effort to rally the 
Prankish party and to bring back the capital to Malamocco. 
It was, admitting that it took place, put down with a strong 
hand; for as an Antenor of Malamocco had devastated 
Heraclea, so now a Partecipazio of Heraclea and Rialto 
devastated Malamocco. The provocation had been great. 
Obelerio was seized and decapitated. According to a much- 
cherished tradition, his head was set up for public execration, 
without the Venetian border on the domain of the Emperor 
Lothair who had favoured this assault on the integrity of 
Venice, while his drawn and quartered body was brought to 
Rialto and publicly exposed there. 

This example should have been terrible enough to frighten 
all other conspirators against Partecipazii greatness and the 
honour of St. Mark. Yet another leader was found by the 
more than disaffected Malamoccans. One, Pietro Caroso, a 
Tribune, drove Giovanni for a time from Venetian territory, 
and made a rash effort to break the Partecipazii power by 
proclaiming himself the Doge. But the family and following 
of Doge Giovanni were too strong for a mere leader of faction 
to overcome them. Giovanni soon returned to his own; 
only, however, to meet at last a fate, curious enough to modem 
ideas, but as characteristic of the times he lived in as was the 
violent end of Obelerio. Going unattended on St. Peter's 
day to the Cathedral of that name in Olivolo, Giovanni was 
seized by some members of a disreputable family named 
Mastalici, who first shaved his beard and gave him the tonsure, 
then sent him to end his days in a monastery in Grado. 

The story of Doge Agnello and his sons has been told at some 
length, because of the revelation in it of the characters, not 
only of the first three Doges Partecipazii, but of the four of the 
same name who came after them. The same great character- 
istics and incidental weaknesses mark also the personalities 
of the family of Candiani (or Sanudi), which gave six Doges to 
Venice during the same century that saw the coming to power 
of the Partecipazii (Badoeri). One of these six was Tribuno 


Memo, who was kin to both the Partecipazii and the 

Between the reigns of the third and fourth Partecipazii, a 
kinsman of theirs — Pietro Teadonico — was elected Doge 
by a preponderating vote. Soldier, seaman, statesman and 
martyr, Tradonico seems to have strongly felt that he was 
placed on the throne to vindicate the honour of the Partecipazii, 
and to prove the right of the people's elected to be a king 
indeed. Though prompt and wise in action, he had reverses. 
Neither his first nor his second expedition against the Croatian 
and Naretine pirates, whose assaults on Venetian shipping 
were becoming frequent and formidable, was successful. It 
was, however, a success of his rule that he carried war into 
the enemy's habitation — the creeks, inlets and rockbound 
coasts of Dalmatia — and was not content only to defend the 
inner islands of the lagoons against invaders who looted, 
burned and threatened as they sailed up the Venetian waters, 
and then, when shoal, surf and the various intricacies of the 
channel frightened them into a retreat, bore off again, leaving 
the waiting warriors on Rialto with despoiled dependencies 
and no foes to fight. 

Immediately after his return from the last of the two in- 
effective expeditions, which were the first enterprises of his 
rule, Tradonico was besought by the Emperor of the East to 
join in an attack on the Saracens who were invading Calabria. 
This was an engagement too serious to be imdertaken without 
much consideration, but in the end the courageous Doge 
resolved to send to the aid of Theodosius a fleet of sixty 
Dromoni, capacious, sea-going vessels, each manned by two 
hundred men, and all being under one Captain — Pietro Parteci- 
pazio — to whom it was policy to give the command, to prevent 
him from bidding for the Dogeship. 

Tradonico rightly judged the Eastern Empire to be the 
only barrier for the time against a Mahommedan occupation 
of Europe. In support of the integrity of that Empire he 
felt that it behoved him to assist the Greeks. Yet there were 
dearer causes still for which it became the commercial-minded 
and freedom-loving Venetians to do battle, and Tradonico had 
the wisdom to see that preparations of another kind from those 


of fitting-out ships and arming men were needed, if Venice 
was to keep afloat an armada worthy of the foe to be resisted 
and the object to be fought for. The compact between 
Lothair the recently crowned Emperor of the West, and 
Pietro Tradonico Duke of Venice, is a remarkable one, not 
only because it remains the earliest document of Venice still 
extant, but also because of its witness to the clear vision, keen 
judgment and just views of its Venetian signatory. Tradon- 
ico's design of drawing all the Italian states that had ports 
on the Adriatic, into a firm bond of peace and mutual pro- 
tection, while he asserted the sovereignty of Venice, was the 
plan, both in conception and execution, of a true statesman. 
The terms of the treaty provide ample evidence of the rapidity 
with which Venetian ideas of government developed under 
Tradonico, as well as of the extension of the personal authority 
exercised, and the personal respect commanded, by that good 
Doge. In addition to articles agreeing that peace and good 
friendship should be established for five years between aU 
cities subject to the Emperor Lothair and all places dependent 
to the Venetian Dogado, it was provided that no incursions 
into or damages to Venetian territory by inhabitants of the 
mainland should be permitted ; that all fugitives from Vene- 
tian justice, as well as all runaway slaves, should be sent 
back to their original domiciles ; and that no subjects of the 
King of Italy should carry aid to the enemies of Venice, but 
should rather advise the Venetians of any hostile designs formed 
against them. Moreover, agreements of earlier treaties which 
defined the limits of Venetian domain and granted trading 
and other privileges to the Venetian people, were once more 

But all the force of the sixty Dromoni and the twenty 
thousand fighting-men, backed by the strength of this treaty, 
could not prevail against the fierce and overwhelming hordes 
of the Saracens. The appearance of a Mahommedan flotiUa 
in Venetian waters, while the Dromoni were yet engaged off the 
coasts of Calabria, brought panic to the lagoon islands. The 
later punishment of the akeady routed fleet of Pietro Badoer, 
by the Saracens returning from victorious skirmishes in the 
northern part of the Adriatic Sea, increased the dismay. It 


was a sore-hearted population that watched the return to 
Venice of the straggling relics of the proud squadron that had 
set forth. Matters were not improved by the quick following 
of an alarm of Slav pirates who, taking courage from the 
Saracenic triumphs, dashed into Venetian waters as far as the 
town of Caorle which they devastated with sword and fire. 
Venice was without a fleet. The only vessels that could be 
in any way employed for the overtaking of the enemy were 
two ships of a new design, made for simultaneous sailing and 
rowing, and destined to be the guardships of the chief entrances 
to the lagoons. Before these cumbrous barks could be put 
into operation, the pirates had finished their raid and gone 
off with their booty. Yet there was no convincing this mari- 
time people that the dominion of the sea was not theirs. 
Rather was the persuasion strong that but slight changes in 
the conditions under which they had fought would have made 
them the victors. Busy hands were soon at work again 
building more ships. But the prouder spirits began to blow 
resentment against Tradonico's government. Feuds between 
the noble houses burst into flame. There were candidates for 
the Dogeship in many leading families, and the Polani and the 
Barbolani (the Montagues and Capulets of Venice) were out for 
bron and desperate encounter. A visit to the Doge from the 
Emperor Ludovico did not allay the discontent. This visit 
was probably in view of Norman menaces, but the populace 
never sees distant dangers and its design was misunderstood. 

In his fortified and guarded palace, Doge Tradonico looked 
on, in spirit if not in fact, at many a bloody affray. At last 
he took the side of the Polani. This was not surprising, since 
he himself came of that stock. Tradonico banished the Bar- 
bolani and their associates from the city. Through the inter- 
cession of the Emperor, into whose realm they were sent, the 
Doge later allowed the turbulents to return to Venice. This 
was a mistake. A greater mistake was his indulgence of a 
predisposition to favour his own kin, in making an ecclesiastical 
appointment that was displeasing to the Candiani. 

As he came alone from vespers in the Church of San Zaccaria 
on a day of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, he was 
assassinated by a gang of malcontents which included Giovanni 


Gradenigo and Stefano Candiano, who had sworn to rid the 
state of its arch-troubler. In the general terror and confusion 
that followed the attack, the Doge's mangled corpse was left 
upon the ground, to be recovered in the night by some pious 
monks who buried it in the church, from which Tradonico, 
carelessly and without a guard, had come forth to meet his 

The fourth Partecipazio (Orso) was grandson to the first 
and father to the fifth. A memorable act of his reign was his 
disregard of an injunction of Pope John viii to send to his 
presence one Domenico Caloprini, who had been appointed 
to the see of Torcello by the stubborn Partecipazio, in despite 
of the refusal of the Metropolitan of Grado — Pietro Marturio 
— to consecrate the bishop-designate. The reason given for 
this refusal was that Caloprini was an eunuch. It wa$ rather 
the truth that Marturio desired to challenge the ducal 
authority to appoint to ecclesiastical posts. The duel between 
Patriarch and Doge was not soon concluded. From the first it 
went badly for the Archbishop. Very early in the contest he 
retired precipitately to Istria, although he found a way thence 
to Rome. Repeated commands from the Pontiff to Caloprini 
and to the Bishops of Equilo and Malamocco who supported 
the ducal appointment, to appear before him, met with no 
response. At last Pope John sent a Roman bishop to Venice 
to settle the dispute. Doge Orso gave an ungracious reception 
to the Legate, and was sternly reproved by the Holy Father 
in a solemn Council at Ravenna. To this Council the Doge 
made a feint of sending Caloprini and his prelate-supporters, 
although in truth he prevented their departure in time to reach 
Ravenna while the Council still sat. Further thunders were 
hurled at Orso Partecipazio, and the recalcitrant bishops were 
excommunicated. Nevertheless, a compromise was arrived 
at. The Doge needed the presence of the Archbishop in Venice 
for the consecration of more diocesans-elect, and Martixrio 
agreed to proceed there on condition that, during his lifetime, 
no further appMcation should be made to him to confirm 
Caloprini in the see of which he already did the work and 
enjoyed the privileges. Yet Doge Orso remained tenacious 
of the hberties of the Venetian Church and of the authority of 


his own office in it. On the death of Marturio, a few years later, 
he would not present a member of his own family to the 
province gf Grado, until he had the assurance of the relative 
that upon his own consecration as Archbishop, he would 
consecrate Caloprini, Bishop. 

Besides resisting ecclesiastical encroachments, Doge Orso 
gave stout battle to armed invasions of his country. He led 
in person the first expedition of his reign, and obliged a ferocious 
captain of the Slavs in Dalmatia to restore booty and enslaved 
prisoners, and to give hostages for the observance of certain 
terms of peace. It seems also that he himself commanded a 
fleet of thirty Venetian ships, with some vessels from Zara and 
other Dalmatian ports, in repulse of a Slav descent on Grado. 
But it was by the arm of his diplomacy, rather than of his 
navy, that he routed the Patriarch of Aquileia who, jealous as 
holders of his office had ever been of the Primate of Grado, 
had availed himself of the disturbances in Istria, Friuli and 
Carinthia, to promote piratical invasions of the Archbishopric 
of Grado, and to afHict the Istrian dioceses which, to the 
constant grievance of Imperial Aquileia, had been placed 
under the rule of RepubMcEin Grado. Kno\^dng well that the 
inhabitants of Aquileia, as well as of Istria and aU other neigh- 
bouring states, were dependent on their trade with Venice for 
many of the necessities and most of the luxuries of life — as 
life was then lived — Doge Orso sent forth an order for all 
commerce between the Venetians and the Istrians to cease. 
This brought the contriving and inimical Patriarch to his 
knees. To obtain liberty for his own people to buy and sell 
in Pilo and other ports of Venice, and to pacify indignant 
Istrians, he undertook to abandon all hostile acts and to 
protect the four Venetian trading-stands owned by the Doge 
of Venice in the meirket-place of Aquileia. 

For his conduct in this affair, the trading community 
of Venice accounted Orso a true hero. Not so heroic did he 
seem to these mercantile ones, when he promulgated an edict 
against slavery. Yet his ducal onslaught on that grave 
distemper of his time was unquestionably the act of a hero. 
He risked a great unpopularity for himself and his office. 

Other single-handed deeds of valour and of wisdom did 


Doge Orso perform; yet it was early in his reign that his 
son — Giovanni — became joint Doge with him. Of a more 
ambitious nature than his father, Giovanni Partecipazio was 
quick to discern the menace to state integrity which lay in 
the domination of Commacchio by the d'Este family. A 
dispute between Marino d'Este and the Pope of Rome, from 
whom Commacchio was held in fief, was the opportunity of 
Doge Giovanni to obtain for his family, possession of the near 
seaport, with its flourishing fisheries and profitable saltings. 
The resistance to the feudal system which, from first to last, 
the Venetians offered, did not come only of dislike of a foreign 
domination. They were opposed to a tyrant-Doge, and, in 
particular, to one who should make himself lord of territory 
other than the true freehold of Venice, which they regarded 
as the property of Doge and people alike. Although the 
popular right of election was not always explicitly acknow- 
ledged, and this Doge Giovanni himself was soon to overlook 
it in a most remarkable manner, it could never be safely dis- 
regarded unless the exerciser of an arbitrary power had his 
fingers on the pulse of the wiU of the people and felt it throb in 
sympathetic unison with his own- 
To constitute a Doge of Venice, Lord of Commacchio, 
woiUd not have been at all to the taste of the electors of the 
Republic. It was, however, very generally felt that some re- 
duction of the strength of the now fortified town that frowned 
on Brondolo, last outpost to the south of the Venetian defences, 
was desirable. The Doge proceeded warily and made secret 
arrangements to send his next brother, Badoer {Badoero), to 
Rome, to claim for himself and his heirs the fief of Commacchio. 
Though successful with the Pope, Badoer was a bungler there 
was no helping. The secret of his mission leaked out before 
he reached Rome, and Marino d'Este posted an ambush to 
waylay him as he retiurned. Badoer was assaulted, seized and 
hurried to Commacchio, where he was strictly confined, 
though treated with what, in the notions of his day, 
was considered great humanity. Pain from a broken leg 
and the smarting of other wounds were thumbscrew and 
rack enough to induce the sufferer to give his oath that, 
were he allowed to return to Venice, he would never accuse 


d'Este of his punishment, or reveal how he had been set upon 
and carried to Commacchio. But when, in his native capital, 
his end drew sensibly near, Badoer told the whole story, and 
his quick decease was followed by loud cries of revenge against 
Marino. Fierce was the resolution to administer a severe 
punishment to the Commacchians and their Ravennese 

When the armed squadron of the Doge appeared before 
Commacchio, d'Este had fied. The city made but a short 
resistance and, burning and slaying as they went, the Venetians 
passed from Commacchio to Ravenna, not holding their hands 
until they had brought both cities low. Then, laden with 
booty, and leaving behind them judges and consuls for the 
protection of their own commerce, the men of Venice returned 
great victors. Yet they had not conquered as completely as 
Doge Giovanni had intended them to conquer. Neither had the 
warlike onslaught on Commacchio culminated in the destruc- 
tion of a vantage-point of attack on Venice. The spirit and 
the health of Giovanni broke at this, but for a few years longer 
he struggled to perform the duties of his of&ce. Then signs 
and wonders in the skies, rumbling sounds, showers of brilliant 
star-dust and the passage from east to west over the complete 
arch of the heavens of a comet of flaming beauty startled the 
inhabitants of Venice. Then — blood ! What else could be the 
crimson flow that came out of the north and streamed across 
the luminous southern night ? 

These atmospheric disturbances and boreal splendours have 
only a scientific interest for the modern mind. To the mediaeval 
one they portended strange things ; boded divine visitations. 
It is likely that the Doge, whom the failure of the design on 
Commacchio had so deeply depressed, had the sensitiveness to 
accept them as warnings from the Almighty that the good of 
his rule had ceased. 

After the blaze came darkness. Tempests overswept the 
islands. The sea boiled and raged. Tides rose strangely 
high, and storms uprooted trees and hurled houses into space. 
Embankments burst and foundations of buildings gave way. 
In times of national emotion and a common peril, much is 
forgiven to the man whose inspiration goes before the law and 


who does the right thing, even if in a wrong way. Doge 
Giovanni 11 determined to retire from office and to put a younger 
and a stronger man in his place. His call to his two remaining 
brothers in succession, to assimie the biretta he had the mind 
to doff, failed to make another Partecipazio the Doge. The 
first brother, Pietro, died almost coincidently ; the second — 
Orso — ^would not accept a sole charge of the State. Giovanni 
gave to his people leave to nominate whom they would as his 
successor, and a shout went up for Pietro Candiano {Sanudo). 
So without further official or ecclesiastical ceremony, Candiani 
was conducted to the presence of the old Doge, who with his 
own hands placed the biretta on the head of the new, then 
handed him sword and sceptre and led him to the ducal throne. 

To Pietro Candiano i belongs the honour of being the first 
Doge to die for his country. Martial in habit and bold in 
spirit, he equipped and commanded an expedition against 
the still formidable Slav pirates within a few months of his 
coming to the throne. The names of six of the captains of the 
twelve galleys that formed his fleet were thereafter to be 
ducal names — Dandolo, Morosini, Contarini, Zeno, Cornaro 
and Orseolo. The noble families of Venice were multiplying and 
the noble characteristics of the race becoming fixed and definite. 

Into a rocky bay near Zara, where thickly-wooded chffs 
intersected by guUies rose from the waters steeply, Candiano 
chased the corsairs and by the impetuosity and heat of his 
attack, drove them from their ships on to the craggy heights 
and impassable growths of the shore. Setting to work with 
vigour to destroy the abandoned vessels of the Slavs, Candiano 
regarded not the dangers from the sheltered fugitives to the 
exposed victors in the bay. An arrow, aimed too well, pierced 
him through the body and, as he dropped, he died. Confusion 
followed confusion. Abandoning their advantage and their 
spoils, the Venetians set sail at once for home ; each and all were 
moved by one thought, to get the body of their leader quickly 
beyond the reach of Slav pursuers. One, Andrea Tribuno 
(another ducal name), performed a special part in bringing the 
honoured remains to Grado, where they found sepulture. 

The imexpected tragedy was cause of extraordinary dis- 
agreements among the electors of Venice. It was soon 


seen that votes for the successor to Pietro Candiano would 
be scattered over a number of candidates. To allow the 
election to go forward, could but render Venice the prey of 
faction. In the dilemma, the universal voice called on 
Giovanni Partecipazio to leave his retirement and resume 
for a time the ducal office. He did what was asked, to the 
end that the nation's suffrages might be brought into closer 
accord. Seven months went by before that end was attained. 
Then Pietro Tribuno was elevated to the ducal throne. 

Through his mother — Angela, a niece of the Doge 
Tradonico who had been assassinated as he came from the 
Church of San Zaccaria — Pietro Tribuno was related to the 
Candiani. He may therefore be regarded as a Doge of that race. 
With the reputation of a peace-lover, the deeds by which he 
won renown were martial. He added greatly to the fortifica- 
tions of Venice which had not been extended since the time 
of Orso II. A great wall of the heavy castellated type was 
raised around Rialto, and a system of closing the entrances to 
and the passages in the lagoons, by booms and chains, adopted. 
News of these undertakings undoubtedly carried through 
Italy and reached to Constantinople, but accounts of the 
Venetian readiness to fight and preparations for defence did 
not spread among the barbarous hordes of north-eastern 
Europe. On the contrary, the ruthless and warlike Huns 
were at the very time lured to the lagoons by reports of 
the wonderful wealth and pacific disposition of the island 
peoples there. So quick was the swarming on Venetian 
frontiers of the barbarian horde, that the Doge was one day 
surprised by the appearance near Albiola of an onrushing 
army of ferocious savages, who were only not too savage for 
the possession of the civilized vices of avarice and ambitions. 

Tribuno was equal to the occasion. In his harangue to 
the somewhat frightened assembly of electors, convened to 
sanction his going forth to war, a true note of patriotism 

Could the Venetians forget their immemorial freedom ? 
he asked. Could they forget the sacrifices their progenitors 
had made to liberty ? Above all, could they forget their 
glorious victory in former days over the Franks ? 


This much to hearten his hearers. Then, lest confidence 
should make them careless, he declared that they were now 
faced by a worse enemy than Pepin and his mercenary 
regiments. The ferocious barbarians, so he said, would not 
be content with slaying the Venetians who should fall into 
their hands ; they would undoubtedly eat them. Who would 
not rise and defend their homes in such a case as this ? 
Who would not ? Not the Venetians. They buckled on their 
armour as one man. Yet all their defences of shield and 
weapon, of stone walls and wooden booms, would have availed 
them little had it not been for the maritime arts of their 
people and the geographical situation of their shores. The 
inhabitants of Padua, Concordia and Aquileia had fied before 
the devastating enemy that had burned Chioggia and was 
now thundering at the gate of Albiola. At almost the same 
spot where King Pepin's siege had been resisted, and by 
almost the same means as had defeated the earlier invaders. 
Doge Tribuno routed the Huns. It was a triumph of cunning 
knowledge over presumptuous ignorance. The barbarians 
attempted to assail the Venetians in their own waters from 
vessels of sea-going draught which they had seized, as they 
came, in deserted Italian harbours. The propellers of light, 
flat-bottomed craft had an advantage they themselves were 
well aware of, but which the enemy did not understand. In 
the end, the Hims, with the clumsy vessels they had stolen, 
were for the most part stranded in the shoals and sands of 
the lagoons. A great many fled in disordered haste to the 
mainland with the Venetians harassing their retreat as skil- 
fully as they had intercepted their approach. 

Now was Tribuno honoured indeed. The Western Emperor, 
Berengario, wrote him a pompous letter of thanks, in which he 
called him " conversatore delta puhlica liberta ed espulsore dei 
Barhari," and Leo, Emperor of the East, bestowed upon him 
the title of Protospatario. 

For the rest, the tale of Tribuno was much the same as 
that of all but one of the Doges of the houses of Candiani and 
Partecipazii that came after him. They were all live men 
who understood their country's needs and, with greater or 
less abiUty, promoted them conscientiously ; regarding them- 


selves, in all relations, as fathers of their people. Instincts 
of nature were strong in them all, and were sources both of 
their weakness and of their power. Each considered the son 
of his body to be the only rightful heir and associate of his 
own elective office. Most of them looked upon bishoprics 
as places to which relatives of their own had first title. In 
any case, their presentations to episcopal appointments were 
constantly made in defiance of the authority of the Roman 
Court, and in consonance with political rather than with 
ecclesiastical needs. 

We read of an Orso Partecipazio, the tenth Doge, and 
PiETRO Partecipazio, the twelfth, and of the second and a 
third PiETRO Candiano, who came eleven and thirteen in the 
ducal list. There was also Vitale Candiano, the last of 
the Candiani, whose reign of a year came to an end through 
his voluntary retirement to the monastery of Sant' Ilario. 
During the rule of all these, the compact first made between 
Venice and the Western Empire in the time of Lothair and 
Tradonico was renewed quinquennially, the Venetians ever 
demanding and receiving complete recognition of their 
independence and further additions to their trading privileges, 
while the ducal tolls for the passage of the river-mouths were 
constantly exacted, and were eventually extended to the use 
of the sea-harbours. Missions to Constantinople were also 
constant. A son of the reigning Doge was generally considered 
the proper ambassador to the Eastern Suzerain. Excursions 
against Slav pirates and other corsairs continued to be 
imdertaken, and discussions between the primates of Aquileia 
and Grado, concerning their powers over each other and 
their respective jurisdictions of the Istrian dioceses, repeatedly 
demanded the nice adjustment of the Doge in of&ce. 


A.D. 960 TO 991 

IT was reserved for the fourth Pietro Candiano, who 
was the fourteenth Doge of the Candiani family, to 
destroy the fine mould of his Une's dignity, and to give 
form, not only to all the more rebellious and the more impious 
chsiracteristics of his race, but to display some features discerned 
often enough in Venetian personality, but happily absent from 
the common model, either of the Candiani or the Partecipazii. 

A son of the second Pietro Candiano had had the wish to 
chase his father from the throne, for the reason that — as this 
dutiful one averred — ^his father was too old to be a Doge. 
The populace rose, indignant against the unnatural design, 
and would have given short mercy to the son but that the 
aged parent pleaded. Banishment to Ravenna was substi- 
tuted for death. But when the son of the third Pietro Candiano 
behaved in the same cruel manner, and his father begged him 
off in the same generous way, the citizens of Venice — ecclesi- 
astical and lay — ^unanimously swore that nev«r, either in the 
hfetime or after the death of good old Pietro, would they 
elect the intending patricide as their Doge. This youth had 
not merely whispered of deposition, he had gone forth in 
arms and with a following against his father's train. 
The commutation of the popular sentence to banishment 
had no effect in softening his heart. He could not settle 
peaceably with his appointed companions in Ravenna, as he 
had been directed to do, but went a-fighting for Guido, 
the Marquis, a son of King Berengario. 

Coming in Guido's service, partly by accident and partly 
by design, to the port of Primaro, Pietro tried to take it by 


assault. The attempt failed, but this was neither his first 
appearance as a corsair in the Gulf of Venice, nor the last of 
his efforts to disturb his father's reign. The audacity of the 
man appealed at last to popular fancy. His enterprise and 
capacity, rather than his temper and disloyalty, imposed 
themselves on Venetian imagination, and the extraordinary 
thing happened that in 959, Pietro Candiano iii was actually 
deposed, as his unnatural son had conspired for him to be, 
and, upon the initiative of the clerical and lay citizens of 
Venice, the bandit was recalled and raised to the ducal throne. 
Two months and fourteen days later, Pietro Candiano iii died. 

In the first noteworthy act of his reign Pietro Candiano iv did 
well enough. He renewed the prohibitions of Doge Orso Parte- 
cipazio against the slave-trade. A deep enthusiasm for the 
liberty of the individual stirred Pietro iv to emphatic utter- 
ance on this matter. He had fought for the breaking of 
fetters on his own comings and goings, moods and desires ; 
had fought successfully and been acclaimed a true prince 
because of his independence of bonds. No wonder, therefore, 
that he came to the throne a very fanatic for freedom. 

The Venetians peiid dearly for their unreasoning devotion 
to the Candiani dynasty. The greed, cruelty and ambition 
of Pietro iv soon became an abomination. He had a wife — 
Giovanna — ^in aU probability of the patrician order, and un- 
doubtedly submissive and pious. She had borne him a son 
and daughter, already grown to man and womanhood. The 
son, Vitale, was as fit in body and mind as any Candiani to 
inherit a father's place and honours, albeit with some leanings 
to an ecclesiastic, if not a monastic, life-. We do not know 
that the religious dispositions of either wife or son troubled 
the decidedly irreUgious Doge. What did annoy him, was 
that his brother had married a lady of great wealth and much 
political influence, while his own wife had brought him neither 
money nor connexions of high political importance. Doge 
Obelerio degli Antenori, if the first, had not been the only 
Doge who had taken a spouse from a foreign and ruling house. 
FeUcia, the consort of Doge Orso Partecipazio, was a daughter 
of Rodoaldo, Duke of Bologna. Now, Doge Pietro Candiano iv 
desired to gain Otto i of Germany as a friend for himself 


and Venice, and to have an heir who should inherit a royal, 
as well as a ducal, estate and name. 

History does not clearly reveal the ostensible ground upon 
which the fourteenth Candiano separated himself from his 
Giovanna, sending her to the convent of San Zaccaria, where 
she took the veil, while he consigned his son Vitale to a 
reUgious house, and gave him a little later the Archbishopric 
of Grado. An early chronicler says that this Doge repudiated 
his consort because she was old. Some later ones have added 
that she was an unfaithful wife. Candiano had not certainly 
the grievance that she had failed to give him an heir. We 
must suppose that the ecclesiastics, without whose consent the 
marriage could not have been annulled, were persuaded of 
some shortcoming in the wife, but the records of the whole 
affair give the idea that the Doge had his way by the exer- 
cise of a very arbitrary authority over both clerical and lay 
opinion in his own domain. The Dogaressa herseK seems 
not to have opposed his wiU. The penances of conventual 
life were probably less hard to bear than those laid upon 
her by the tempers and excesses of a tyrant-husband. There 
was no appeal from Venice to Rome, yet we cannot doubt 
that Rome passed judgment and decided in favour of the 
Doge and his prospective consort Gualdrada, daughter of 
Hubert, Marquis of Tuscany and Duke of Spoleto, who had 
recently regained the state of which King Berengario 11 had 
for a time deprived him. The brother of Gualdrada eventually 
succeeded his father as Hugo the Great of Tuscany. The 
lord of Tuscany was a personage whose influence could tilt 
scales of mercy and support for or against the Pope's dominion 
in central Italy, and the Dogaressa-elect had in dot, besides 
extensive lands in Treviso, Friuli and other parts of Italy, 
with, among other castles, that of Ferrara, many slaves and 
money in quantities sufficient to satisfy Rome's venal maw. 

So Gualdrada, with a bodyguard of foreign soldiers and 
an attendant train of foreign servants, came in great state 
to Venice, bringing with her also many foreign and feudal 
practices. For the first time in Venice was the custom of 
presenting a bride with a morning gift observed. Pietro be- 
stowed upon Gualdrada, on the day of their nuptials, a quarter 


of his goods, pro morganationis carta. The new Dogaressa 
was haughty, contemptuous and self-regarding. Although the 
daughter of an adventurer who had made himself a Prince, 
she gave herself the airs of an hereditary and royal Princess, 
who condescended greatly in allying herself with the chief of a 
company of merchant-adventurers and sea-pirates, dangerous 
if they were not at once propitiated and kept in their place. 

In consequence of all this, the Doge became unpopular. 
He lost popularity also because he tried to make himself 
independent of control, and to deprive the Patriarch of Grado 
and the Bishop of OUvolo of all consultative authority in 
political affairs. But his fatal marriage was his main offence. 
Not alone was the castle of Ferrara garrisoned with foreign 
troops, but in the courtyard of the Ducal Palace itself was 
set a guard of Gualdrada's men-at-arms. So rapidly did 
the disaffection of his people grow from the seeds of the 
Dogaressa's contumely and his own pride in her and in his 
new condition, that he seems to have been taken by surprise 
when, upon a day, the rabble of the town came battering at 
the palace door. Yet it was not a headless mob, not even a 
suddenly-stirred populace, that called to him to come down 
and hear the judgment passed upon him. There was one, at 
least, of noble family and pure heart, who beheld visions of a 
new heaven and a new earth, and who was a fanatic for the 
bringing in of a better order and a truer government. 

Erstwhile Ambassador to the Court of Otto i, and already, 
though perhaps unknown to himself, the appointed Leader 
of Venetian destinies, Pietro Orseolo counselled the people 
to fire the Doge's palace, if the Doge did not 3deld to their 
demands for his appearance and bow low before the righteous 
indignation of his people. 

The tumult was yet at height before the palace, when 
Gualdrada, horrified and affronted, fled from the rear under an 
escort of her armed retainers. The Doge seems early to have 
taken possession of his child by the Tuscan Princess, and to 
have wandered with the infant and its wet-nurse from chamber 
to chamber of the palace. Now he looked forth with pale, scared 
face on the angry mob in the Piazzetta ; now saw to the streng- 
thening of such defences as there were. At last., despairing of 


all triumph over the popular outburst, he made to escape through 
the door of the palace giving into the Chapel of St. Mark. 

Perhaps it was only sanctuary he sought — sanctuary 
beneath the altar of the Lion who was sentinel and shield 
for all Venice, but, in particular, the guardian of the Doge ! 
In any case, he fled from the rising fury of the besiegers of his 
palace and from the suffocating smoke of the inflammable 
materials piled high against the palace walls and ablaze from 
an incendiary torch. In the church, however, as he emerged 
in haste, he found a solemn council. The " maggiorenti," his 
peers and associates, his kith and kin, the members of the inner 
conclaves of his government — all gathered to intercept his 
flight. He stood before them, holding high his child. " And 
you also, my brothers ? " he cried, aggrieved, " are you, too, 
united for my hurt ? If I have sinned by word or public 
action, alas ! grant me Ufe and I promise to redeem every- 
thing." But the nobles protested that the Doge was a pestilent 
fellow and worthy only of death. They cried out that it would 
be vain for him to attempt to flee and, with many sword- 
thrusts, struck him to the ground. 

The wet-nurse tried to save his unweaned babe, but the 
maddened assassins dragged the infant from her arms and 
iniquitously murdered it. The corpses of the two — the male- 
factor and the innocent — were flung into an open boat and 
pushed off for the shambles, but a pious man rescued the poor 
wan things and gave them decent biirial in the Abbey of Sunt' 
Ilario. As for Gualdrada, whose faithful Tuscan guards had 
paid penalty for their fidelity with their hves, she found her 
way to the court of Otto 11 and cried to Adelheid, the Empress- 
Mother, for declaration of a vendetta against Venice. The 
representations of the Empress only seconded in the ears of 
Otto the complaints and suggestions of Vitale Candiano, the 
son of the murdered Doge by his Venetian spouse. In the end 
Gualdrada obtained, by virtue of the Emperor's intercessions 
and of the sense of justice in the pious denouncer and successor 
of her husband, heavy damages in money. But the Doge 
of Venice could not give her back her babe. The guiltless 
suffered for its parents' sins. 

The Emperor, who could have had but little personal con- 


cern for the woes of Gualdrada and less for an execution of 
popular vengeance on her husband, never forgave the Venetians 
their slaughter of Gualdrada's son. As heir of the Doge and 
the Emperor's own kinsman, the child might have lived to 
deliver Venice into Imperial hands. Slaying the tender inno- 
cent, the people of the lagoons had retained their sovereignty 
and put themselves into state to demand again renewal of their 
quinquennial treaty with the Holy Roman Empire of the West. 

In place of the libertine, the rebel and the autocrat, there 
came to the throne a pure-lived, devout and conscientious officer 
of the national will. 

PiETRO Orseolo I seems never to have regretted his part 
in the incendiary revolt which burned out of the Palace of the 
Doge and of the government of Venice the root of corruption 
planted there by the fourth Pietro Candiano. Orseolo's wrath 
against his predecessor had been the blazing wrath of the Man 
of God, convinced of the iniquity of the system and the vice of 
the man he aimed at, and assured of his own possession of the 
spirit which discerns things good and evil. Although a husband 
from his eighteenth year and a father, he followed now a 
cloisteral rule and Uved in his own house separate from 
his wife Felicia, whose piety and devotion were even as his 
own. To him it was no punishment, rather a boon, that the 
fire he had himself stirred up had rendered the ducal palace 
uninhabitable. It had also destroyed about thirty neighbour- 
ing houses and considerably injured the Churches of San 
Teodoro and San Marco. The damage to the churches seems, 
however, to have been less the cause of the great rebuilding 
then taken in hand than the piety of Orseolo, who not only 
promoted the sumptuous rearing of one grand fane above the 
shrines of both the earher and the later Saints-Patron of 
Venice, but also designed and built a Campanile, together 
with a wonderful hospital for the nursing of the sick poor and 
the entertainment of the pilgrims who were then coming in 
increasing numbers from aU parts of the Christianized world to 
venerate on Rialto the remains of St. Mark. 

Orseolo i performed many other useful acts, one of which 
was the convoking of the popular assembly for the purpose 
of levying a tax of one-tenth, payable in money or in kind, 




to meet the deficit in the public accounts caused by recent 
wars of the Candiani, by the conflagration on Rialto and by the 
damages awarded to the Dbgaressa Gualdrada. But for all 
his activities for the social welfare and for the enrichment of 
Venice, the desire of Orseolo was ever towards the cloisteraL 
life. Not satisfied to return day by day from the businesses 
of the palace to the contemplations of his cell and oratory, 
he pined to be whoUy immured ; to hear no more the debates 
of the maggiorenti or the clamours of the populace. He tired 
even of his visits to the sufferers and pilgrims in his hospital. 
Yet it does not seem that he proposed to himself an existence 
aU of penance and seclusion, until there visited him one day 
a monk — Guerino — of St. Michael in Acquitaine. This one's 
tales of the great blessedness of retirement and of his monastery's 
pecuhar need of restoration and embellishment, gave a definite 
direction to the Doge's longing. 

" O father and benefactor of my soul," are the recorded 
words of Orseolo's cry to Guerino, " with great avidity I yearn 
to follow thy counsel. Grant me only sufficient time to 
dispose of my affairs and then I will submit myself in thy 
monastery, to all thy orders ; then wUl I no longer desire to 
fight, except for God." 

Was Orseolo the Pious at last overtaken by remorse for 
his part in the incendiary attack on the palace ? Some 
Venetian writers have it so. Others assert that such a saint 
could never have proposed the conflagration. But the rapt 
do not shrink from crime for their own causes. In any case 
a compact was entered into, and for a time Guerino went 
back to his monastery and Orseolo to his cares of state. But 
the hour came when the monk returned to Venice, as if passing 
through on the way to Jerusalem. With him were two other 
Brothers of St. Michael. None in Venice knew of the intention 
of the Doge. Yet his plans were weU laid. During the 
night of 1st September 978, Pietro Orseolo i fled from Rialto 
in company with Giovanni Gradenigo, and with his son- 
in-law, Giovanni Morosini. At Sant' Ilario horses waited 
for them. The three Venetians, joined, as must be 
supposed, by the three French monks, rode rapidly across 
country into France where they came, at last, without let or 


hindrance, to the long-desired monastery. Orseolo was then 
fifty years of age. He lived for eighteen years in the monastery, 
subject to many and severe penances. The fact that he gave 
much money for the restoration of the building seems not to 
have excused him from rigours as severe as any that could have 
been inflicted on the most refractory and profitless. 

After some years his son visited him in his retreat, and the 
father then predicted the glory of the reign of Pietro Orseolo ii. 
The first Orseolo's abdication of solemn duties cannot be 
justified, yet the very defection that roused his people's wrath 
at the time, was accounted to him later for righteousness. 
Soon after his death in 997 there began, both in France and in 
Venice, his veneration as a Saint. 

Orseolo i was succeeded by Vitale Candiano, the well- 
married brother of the slaughtered Pietro iv. After a brief day of 
authority, Vitale went to die in the monastery of Sant' Ilario. To 
him succeeded the husband of the assassinated tyrant's daughter. 

Tribuno Memo had wealth and connexions that made his 
Dogeship almost inevitable. But as a lover of gardens and 
of quiet, he had neither the decision of character that should 
be in a true ruler, nor the taste for pomp and business that may 
make a puppet in office play his part well enough. In his 
time, feuds were fierce and frequent between the Morosini and 
the Caloprini. It was the old conflict between east and west, 
revived in slightly different form. Doge Memo was unable 
to repress the brawls. He could only take sides by turns and 
thus excite, rather than heal, the disturbances. At last a 
terrible tragedy befeU a Morosini particularly distinguished 
for his piety and virtue. He had been seized by the Caloprini 
as he was leaving the Cathedral of San Pietro, beaten to death, 
stripped and thrown into an open boat that lay off the water- 
gate of San Zaccaria. The Caloprini were banished, and in 
their exile their desires for personal dominion and revenge 
upon the Morosini drove them to sell their interest in the 
government of Venice to the German Emperor. The death 
of Otto alone prevented Stefano Caloprino from going to 
Venice in arms, to take it nominally for himself but virtually 
for the Emperor. By the intervention of that peace-loving 
Dowager, the Empress Adelheid, Caloprino and his following 


were allowed to return to Venice, but only to find, as was indeed 
most natural, that his horde were objects of hatred for the 
multitude, and quite out of favour at Court. During their 
absence. Doge Memo had given to one of the Morosini, who 
was that son-in-law who had ridden by " Saint " Orseolo in 
his midnight flight to Acquitaine, a beautiful little island 
facing the ducal palace, covered with olives, cypresses, gardens 
and vineyards, and having a chapel on it dedicated to St. 
George the Martyr. The original charter of this donation is 
still to be read. In it, Tribuno Memo renounced in favour of 
the Benedictine brothers all the island, together with the 
chapel and the books and treasures thereof. Morosini, who 
had returned to Venice only to become a Benedictine monk 
in his native place, as it was the wonder of many, including his 
own cloistered wife Felicia, that Doge Orseolo had not done, 
was at the head of the foundation. 

The Morosini were truly in the ascendant, but no benefits 
heaped upon them by Doge Memo or another made them 
either forgive or forget the crime of the Caloprini in murdering 
their much-respected relative. The long feud had yet to close 
in a greater disaster. As the three brothers Caloprini descended 
one day from the ducal palace and went to step into their boat, 
they were set upon by the Morosini, who did them all to death 
and threw their battered corpses into the canal. This outrage 
brought the term to Memo's dogeship. It Wcis the popular 
thought that, if he had not instigated, he should have known 
a way to prevent this horrible deed. 

There remain two accounts of the end of Tribuno Memo. 
One tells that he was forced to vest himself as a monk and repair 
to San Zaccaria, where he died in six days' time. The other, 
more unique, does not make the Doge so blameworthy, but 
gives us to believe that the mild nature-student and garden- 
lover, to whom the glories of a crown had never been attractive, 
finding himself powerless to restrain the violent affrays of the 
opposed families, laid down the sceptre his nerveless hands 
had failed to wield effectively, and went back to the home and 
garden at San Marcuola he had left with regret for the palace 
and the throne. 


A.D. 991 TO 1085 

WITH the reign of Pietro Orseolo 11, the destinies 
of the Orseoli family came to zenith. It was yet 
the tenth century when he was elected Doge, and 
revealed himself at once a statesman and a man of business. 

His earliest act was the sending of Ambassadors to the 
Eastern Empire where Basil and Constaniine then ruled jointly, 
and to the Western, where Otho iii had just attained his 
majority. Having paid the time-honoured courtesies rendered 
to Europe's hereditary Suzerains by independent Dukes of 
Venice, Orseolo 11 gave evidence of individuality and a zeal 
for Venetian commerce and Venetian credit, by making special 
compacts with various princes, khans and governors in Asia, 
Egypt, Spain and Sicily. Parleying with these rulers meant 
entering into friendship with the Saracens. Yet Orseolo did 
not hesitate to negotiate, since the time was not ripe for 
threatening. Besides, the Venetians had long held traffic, 
profitable if more or less surreptitious, with the chief enemies 
of Christendom, and this great Doge saw the need of raising 
the trade relations of Venice to a plane of honour. That he 
scorned all underhand dealings was shown a little later when 
he refused any longer to pay the Narentine pirates a yearly 
bribe to let Venetians have free course in the Adriatic. Orseolo 
backed his refusal by sending across the Gulf of Venice six 
armed galleys which" tempted the pirates to an onslaught that 
was quickly and gallantly repulsed. A little later he received 
on Rialto independent deputations from Zara, Justinople and 
other cities of the opposite coast, asking for the protection of 


the Doge against the many petty tyrants of those shores. 
By these tokens Orseolo knew that the hour had struck for 
a demonstration of might and resolution that could not be 
mistaken, and that must be immediately performed if Venice 
were to become in truth, as well as name, the Queen of the 

The popular assembly was enthusiastic for the expedition 
he proposed to it. A still greater enthusiasm signalized his 
taking of command, on Ascension Day 998, of a fleet of two 
hundred vessels of various bulk and sail. A religioxis and 
patriotic service at San Pietro preceded his setting out for 
Grado, whence it was his design to conduct his armada in 
pompous procession along the whole coast of Istria and 
Illyria. To the great standard of St. Mark which he had 
received in the Cathedral of Olivolo, was joined at Grado 
a sacred emblem of SS. Ermacora and Foriunaio, confided to 
him in the Cathedral there by the Patriarch, a Candiano. 

The imposing cruise of the Doge's intention was most 
successfully carried out. Port after port received the Venetian 
fleet with every possible demonstration of relief and dehght. 
Not only the fathers of the Illyrian coast-towns nominally 
subject to the Emperors Basil and Constantine, but Dalmatian 
and Slav chiefs with their retinues from mountain castles 
and inland states like Croatia, which were supposedly under 
the dominion of the Emperor Otto, paid homage to the 
Venetian Doge. His aid was besought for wars against the 
common enemy, the Narentines, and for struggles to put down 
internecine strife and faction and to resist tyranny within 
home confines. On the islands of Cherso and Ossaro, then 
possessed by the Croatians, were gathered with the more 
permanent inhabitants a concourse of Roumanians and 
other Slavs, who welcomed the Doge with reverence, and 
pledged themselves to own his authority over them. On 
Whitsuhday — ten days from the day of his embarkation. 
Ascension Day — there was held in the church of one of these 
islands a great thanksgiving service, at which, just before 
the Exaudi Christe, in the place where in Greek churches 
a praise of the Emperor was always sung, there was inter- 
polated a laud oi the Doge, serenissimo ei excellentissimo prin- 


cipus el dominus nostra gratiosissimo. At Zara the principal 
citizens, with their Bishop, gave Orseolo a pompous recep- 
tion, and there awaited him deputations of welcome and 
submission from the islands of Veglio and Orbo. There 
came to him also at Zara an embassy of conciliation from 
Dircislaus, King of Croatia ; while a little farther on, at Trau, 
the brother of the King— Crescimir— asked for aid in making 
good his claim to a joint kingship with Dircislaus. Suspecting 
that the show of friendship by King Dircislaus had been only 
a move to gain time to arrange with the Narentines a 
combined attack on the Venetian fleet, Orseolo listened diplo- 
matically to the prayer of Crescimir, who confided to the 
Doge, as a hostage of Croatian fealty, his own son Stephen. 

While at Trau, Orseolo detached ten of his two hundred 
galleys and sent them to give battle to a Narentine squadron 
returning from Puglia. Then he passed on with his main 
fleet, a victor by acclamation, to Belgrade and Spalatro, 
where the Narentines, whose resistance of the Venetians had 
been short, sent to the Doge to beg. terms of peace and to 
renounce all claims to tribute-money. But other vessels of 
these pirates overtook ships of Orseolo, and circled round to 
resist them at Lagosta, so he had at last to show himself a 
man of war. He besieged Curzola, where resistance was only 
slight, and sailed on to Lagosta, where from behind frowning 
barricades of art's and nature's making, and upon heights 
of rock considered unassailable, the Narentines hurled missiles 
of every conceivable kind upon the sharpshooters, arbalisters 
and engineers below. There were " handy-men," however, 
among the old Venetians. Precipices were scaled. A tower 
that was reckoned a main defence was taken by assault ; 
and all accomplished by that combination of massed discip- 
line and individual enterprise which must prevail against 
all odds. There remained only Ragusa to submit, and that 
important place capitulated peacefully as soon as the news 
of the victory of Lagosta reached it. 

Orseolo was a victor indeed. He had now but to visit 
once more his newly acquired dependencies and to appoint 
to them Venetian dukes or governors, whom he recognized 
in some degree as representatives of the Emperor at 


Byzantium. To Ragusa he nominated his eight-year-old 
son, Ottone, which proves the governorships to have been 
more or less honorary offices. Indeed, it is the view of some 
historians that Orseolo proclaimed all his deputies as holding 
of&ce from the Greek Government rather than from his own. 
In any case, it was the custom from that time forward, 
throughout the period of Venetian ascendancy, to insert a 
laud of the Doge of Venice immediately after, though not 
in place of, the praise of the Greek Emperor in the lUyrian 
and Dalmatian church-services. 

The return of the Doge to Rialto was a triumph. Amid 
the praises of his people he assumed with all solemnity the 
title of Doge of Venice and Dalmatia. It is a tradition 
that he wished to call himself also Doge of Croatia, but even 
in his day of incomplete conquests and loosely defined offices, 
it seems to have been considered that he had really no right 
to further extension of his appellations. He was not Doge 
of Dalmatia in the sense in which he was Doge of Venice. 
He had left the laws and customs of each province, island and 
township undisturbed, and had limited his toUs of conquest 
to demanding an annual tribute in money, produce, galleys 
or fighting-men, according to the several capacities and 
industries of the places conquered. From the King of 
Croatia (or Hungary) he does not appear even to have obtained 
tribute, but he had come to some kind of peace terms with 
him, and it is possible that the subsequent marrying of his 
own daughter, IceUa, to the princeling-hostage Stephen, was 
a consimimation of designs formed at this time for a future 
dependence of Hungary upon Venice. 

Meanwhile the submissions of the lUyrian and Dalmatian 
towns, and the repulsions of the Narentine pirates, were 
complete enough to fire the imagination of the Venetians with 
a vision of their Doge as Lord of the Adriatic. The sea into 
which their Gulf of Venice merged must be the freehold of 
the Republic. The Venetians felt that they at last possessed 
the gracious element which was chief source of all their 
physical sustenance, chief arm of their liberty's defence. 
All the pride and all the hope the fair vision evoked, found 
dramatic expression on the first anniversary of the Ascension- 


Day ^sailing of Doge Orseolo ii from Rialto, when the 
great Water Festival, which became so celebrated under the 
name of " The Marriage of the Adriatic," was instituted. 
The Norman conquest of England was yet deep in the womb 
of Time when there skimmed over the Canal of S. Nicolo del 
Lido a bark called a piatto, covered with cloth of gold and 
having a flask of water, a vessel of salt and an aspersory 
(sprinkler) conspicuously displayed before" a standing group 
of bishops and priests, who passed thus in full canonicals to 
meet the great barge of Doge Pietro Orseolo ii, first true lord 
and ransomer of the mother of all loyal Venetians. The 
Adriatic had been enslaved. To ride upon her waters had 
meant terror and great risk of plunder. Now could the Doge 
claim his own, and the Bishop of Olivolo pray without 
mockery, " Deign, O Lord, to concede that this sea shall 
belong to us and to all those who navigate her tranquilly 
and quietly ! " 

After this prayer came a solemn blessing of the flask 
of water, and then the Bishop, with the Dean of St. Mark, 
went on board the barge, to be replaced later in history by the 
Bucintoro. As both ships of state neared the sea, the prelate 
first sprinkled the Doge and those about him, then poured the 
rest of the holy water into the Adriatic. 

At the time of the institution of this simple ceremony, 
Orseolo was indeed tasting the sweets of personal fame, and 
reaping credit for his good govermnent of Venice. After 
Easter, but before Ascensiontide in that same year, the young 
Emperor Otto iii came to Venice, and conceived such an 
admiration for the skill of the conqueror of the Adriatic, 
that he referred to him always afterwards as Compara (Master). 
The manner of the Emperor's visit was pictioresque and 
mysterious. Feigning to go to the baths at Pomposa near to the 
border of the Dogado, he crossed the Po and, without waiting 
for a worthier craft that had been ordered for him, embarked 
in the middle of the night on a little raft, accompanied only 
by Count Eccelino (later Duke of Bavaria), by Rambaldo, 
Count of Treves, and by a knight and two chaplains. With 
blithe hearts these youthful princes pushed off for the Venetian 
isles, but twenty-four hours of tempest ensued, and it was 


evening on the following day when the strange crew on a 
stranger craft arrived at San Senolo, where the Doge, some- 
how forewarned, awaited their coming. The meeting of the 
rulers was affectionate and emotional, but, to avoid revelation 
of the traveller's identity, the Doge preceded his guest to 
Rialto. The Emperor, arriving later at the, Ducal Palace, 
duly admired its beauties and was ushered to an apartment 
in the eastern tower. 

Announcing themselves as ambassadors of Otto, who, 
they said, remained at Pomposa, the Count Eccelino and his 
companions were received in state, and given lodgings in the 
vicinity of the palace. By these means Otto enjoyed much 
private colloquy with his host, and in the guise of an Abbot 
went about the city without recognition. He gave further 
sign of his regard for Orseolo by holding a baby girl of his at 
the font. To the Emperor's request upon leaving, to name 
his desires, the Doge asked only for the full and secure tutelage 
of all Venetian subjects and churches on the mainland, and 
Otto refused all gifts the Doge profusely offered. He was 
persuaded, however, to accept an ivory chair with a box 
beneath, a little silver cup, and a vase of exqtiisite workmanship. 
Doge and Emperor parted at last with many embraces and 
protestations of friendship. Both of them had the generosity 
to recognize generosity, yet, for all their resignations of 
treasures of territorial and monetary value, both desired 
gifts of political worth of one another. The young Emperor, 
who had recently beheld the anarchy and disorder of a Pope- 
less Rome, had the ambition to revive the Roman Empire, 
and to re-establish the seat of it by his own assumption of the 
crown there. He wanted also to join east to west by marrying 
a Grecian Princess. The friendship of the Lord of the Adriatic 
and Commander of the Venetian fleet was essential to the 
Imperial purpose. Poor Otto never gained his end. Within 
a few short months from his romantic visit to Venice, he was 
dead — at twenty-two years of age ! Orseolo, his " master " 
indeed in accomplishment and state experience, obtained 
more from the suppliant youth than the would-be Imperator 
and King of all Christendom received of the Doge of Venice. 
The pride of the population of the islands must indeed have 


been great, when Orseolo ii announced to his people who it was 
who had lately visited thena, and what amiable and generous 
concessions had been gained. Gratifying, too, must have 
been, both to Doge and people, the reflection that a Sovereign 
and art-lover who had so recently contemplated the beauties 
of majestic, treasure-laden Rome, had admired with en- 
thusiasm the architectural values and decorative splendours 
of the Ducal palace and church, to the erection of which 
Orseolo ii contributed much wealth and taste. 

Yet another expedition of glory was undertaken by this 
great Doge, when he fitted out and commanded a large fleet 
to go to the relief of Bari, a Greek town and colony on the 
coast of ApuHa that had fallen into the hands of the Saracens. 
At Bari, even, more than at Lagosta, the judgment, valour 
and tactics of Orseolo were called into play. For three days 
the assault on the Mahommedan position went on furiously, 
but the advantage gained seemed small to the assailants. 
Yet, lo and behold ! while the Venetians waited for another 
dawn to renew their attack, the white-robed ancients folded their 
tents, " hke the Arabs " they were, and stole away in the night ! 

Loudly the Baretines praised Orseolo as their liberator ! 
Well did his own coimtrymen approve this, his second most 
glorious exploit ! And so content were the Greek Emperors 
with the way their work had been done for them, that they 
invited the son of the Doge — Giovanni Orseolo — to their 
court, and gave him there for a wife the Princess Maria, niece 
of the Emperor BasU. 

The nuptials of the pair were solemnized with every regal 
symbol. Bride and bridegroom took up their residence in a 
palace at Constantinople that was part of Maria's dot. Yet 
for all the gorgeousness and flattery of the Byzantine life, 
Giovanni was impatient to conduct his Princess to Rialto. 
They had to await the return of Basil from an expedition 
against the Bulgarians. While they waited, a son was born 
to them. At last the youthful pair with their babe came in 
state to Rialto, and received an enthusiastic welcome. AU 
Venice approved the high aUiance. The Doge went forth to 
meet his children with splendid convoy of barges and other 
craft. Rejoicings were on a scale never before attained to 


on the islands. But the scourge of life's uncertainties and 
the body's ailments cut short the conmion joy, and dealt to the 
hope and pride of Orseolo a slashing blow. 

A comet appeared in the skies flashing first above the 
horizon a Uttle point of light, but revealing presently its 
peculiar form. That fan of fire was an omen. Disaster 
was coming upon Venice and the Doge. The plague broke 
out and scarcity followed the plague. Arts and industries 
were arrested ; traffic on the ministrant sea, as well as on the 
lagoons, suspended. High and low, rich and poor, aU suffered 
alike. In the Palace of the Doge, Giovanni Orseolo and his 
Grecian Princess were both laid low. With them, or before^ 
perished also their chUd. In one sepulchre in the monastery 
of San Zaccaria the two were laid. They lie there, aU the 
dust of them, to this day. 

In sjmapathy for their stricken leader, the Venetians 
begged Orseolo to associate with himself in the cares of govern- 
ment his stiU younger son, Ottone. With bowed head the 
Doge acceded to their request. He had tasted to the full the 
cup of celebrity and happiness ; had lived his life, every 
moment of it, strenuously and beneficently. But now, in 
the autumn of his days, the comet, the plague, the famine, 
and all that those visitations imported of personal sorrow, 
official anxiety and reUgious apprehension, had struck at the 
root of joy in him. The Venetian character and the mediaeval 
time were fertile in sharp contrasts ; full of developments 
which to us in the cold north and of the hard modern world, 
seem strange. Yet for his age and of his race, it was a natural 
transition to pass, as he did, from marital Ufe and a splendid 
state existence, to the soUtude of a cloister and the qmet of 
contemplative days. 

Taking both of them the vow of chastity, Pietro Orseolo 
and his wife separated and went each to a cell apart within 
the walls of the Ducal Palace. From these cells they did not 
emerge, and a very short time after, being but forty-eight years 
of age and having reigned seventeen years and six months, 
Pietro Orseolo 11 went hence and was no more seen. His name 
hved on and marks to-day a glorious stage of development 
in the history of the Venetian Republic. 


OrroNE Orseolo was only eighteen years of age when 
left sole Doge. The peaceful acquiescence of the aristocratic 
families in his exaltation, shows how strongly rooted in the 
Venetian people was their faith in the wisdom, courage and 
genius of his race. The youth himself followed with dignity 
and a good spirit in the footsteps of his father. By his 
marriage in his twenty-first year to a sister of Stephen the 
Saint- King of Hungary, he fulfilled a project formed for him 
by his predecessor, and, withal, further extended the consequence 
of Venice in European politics. His brother-in-law and his 
sister (Icella) became about the same time King and Queen 
of Croatia. But royal alliances could not heal all national 
jealousies, and although by right of his relationships Ottone 
was called upon in 1018 to settle a quarrel between Dalmatia 
and Croatia, he failed to pacify the disputants, and had to lead 
an army into Croatia. Victory on land was followed by a 
cruise along the coast, in something of the same state and 
for the exaction of a similar homage his father had assumed 
and received. Ragusa was the only city that objected to 
his suzerainty, yet Ottone was the same small boy, now 
grown a man, who twenty years ago had been set over it as 
governor. The Ragusans, however, while reclaiming independ- 
ence, agreed to accept a Venetian Podesta, or Chief-Magistrate, 
to be triennially re-appointed. 

A dispute that arose between the Gradenigi and the Orseoli 
concerning the succession of a youthful priest of the Gradenigi 
clan to the bishopric of Olivolo which had been held by his 
uncle, provided sudden ignition for fuel of hopes, jealousies and 
ideas, long concealed in the breasts of the maggiorenti. The 
Orseoli had now been many years in power, and the very 
success of their enterprises, the very blamelessness of their 
rule, made them personally hated of the petty ambitious, and 
officially disliked by the theorist-politicians who believed in 
government by certain axioms and regulations which the 
Orseoh, in the brilliancy of their individual attributes and 
the wisdom of their personal proceedings and alliances, entirely 

One DoMENico Flabianico, an arch-theorist and soured 
bachelor, was the leader of the opposition to the Orseolo 


domination. He wished to revert to first principles and to 
forestall contingencies. It galled him that the special ways 
and characteristics of the Orseoli rendered the reform of many 
governmental abuses difficult. He was set on passing laws 
that would not only prevent another popular family succession, 
but would also favour the elevation to the ducal throne of men 
of brains and notions who were heirless. It must not be 
thought, however, that all of Flabianico's ideas and schemes 
were self-centred, nor that there was not much that was 
wise and just in his views and designs. In a sense, he repre- 
sented liberalism, as opposed to conservatism, but his liberalism 
was based on oligarchic, not on democratic principles. He 
was an " old-fashioned liberal" in uncompromising form. He 
wished all men above a certain social level to have their 
chance. It was a vested interest in the supreme state office, 
not in any state office, that he objected to. The prerogatives 
of all members of the order just below the throne were those 
he maintained with thin-lipped energy. It was not to make 
a government more popular that he laboured, planned and 
plotted. No government could have been more popular, more 
expressive of the genius, more gratifying to the pride of the 
nation, than that of the Orseoli. The worth and achievements 
of that family had been an object-lesson for aU time of what 
bireeding and training may accomplish for the creation of a 
race of rulers. The characters and accomplishments of the 
successive Orseoli in the ducal office had impressed the 
rulers of other nations with respect for Venetian fitness and 
admiration for Venetian power. 

None of these things moved Flabianico. He saw only that 
affairs were not carried on in the State of Venice according to 
his own pet formulae. Yet his goverimiental ideas were in 
accord with the first projects of the Venetian freemen. They 
matched those projects also, in that both Flabianico and his 
party in the eleventh century, as the electors of Pauluccio 
Anafesto in the seventh, were agreed that any Doge worthy 
of the suffrages of Venetians must belong to a family of 
antiquity, distinction and wealth ; in fact, must be a noble 
or maggioreAto of the nation. The great divergence between 
the principles of Flabianico's followers on Rialto, and those of 


the constitution's progenitors on old Heraclea, started in the 
character of the assembly to which the election of a Doge and 
the sanctioning of ducal enterprises and edicts were confided. 
The early arengi, or popular assemblies, were convocations of 
aU inhabitants, except a few serfs and other bondsmen who 
could not shout with the voices of free voters. Since the 
seventh century a numerous middle-class of small traders and 
workpeople had developed. Flabianico was opposed to the 
entry of these into politics. Through his machinations, Doge 
Ottone Orseolo and his brother Orso, the Patriarch, were 
forced to retire for a time to Dalmatia. They were soon 
recalled, but only to find the strength of the party against 
them growing. A taste for the sweets of the Dogeship had 
been whetted in other individuals of the great families of 
Venice besides Flabianico, who was not generally liked, 
although he had succeeded in making his tenets acceptable. 
The retirement of the Orseoli again became necessary, and Doge 
Ottone was banished to Constantinople. 

One PiETRO Barbolano was seated in the ducal chair in 
1026. His reign was insignificant, notwithstanding that he had 
an eye to the main chance, both for Venice and for himself. 

The story of the eventual deposing of Barbolano, of the 
strong revulsion of feeUng in favour of the Orseoli djoiasty, 
of the making of Vitale OrseoH, Bishop of TorceUo, the 
deputy-Doge for a time, while Orso Orseolo, the Archbishop, 
was sent to Constantinople to bring back to his own the 
exiled Ottone, who had taken refuge at the Court of his late 
brother Giovanni's father-in-law, now become the Grecian 
Emperor, has in it that irony which is a property of nearly 
all true tales. Archbishop Orso reached the eastern capital 
only to find his brother, the Doge, already dead. He 
performed the funeral services with due solemnity, accom- 
panied, we may not doubt, with pageantry and ceremonial 
as gorgeous in its kind as had attended the marriage of 
Giovanni Orseolo. When the Patriarch returned to Rialto 
and gave account of what had happened, it was the immediate 
wish of Vitale to lay down his temporary office. But the 
people would not have it so, xmless his brother, the Arch- 
bishop, consented to take his place for a longer period. So 


we gaze through the mists of time at a spectacle providing 
much comment of a sarcastic kind on the designs and theories 
of the reformer Flabianico. For fourteen months an Orseolo 
performed co-jointly, although against his inclination, the 
functions of Doge and Patriarch. The supreme authority 
both of Church and State was vested in one man. When at 
last he prevailed upon the electors to release him from his 
double task, and to let him keep only the single one to which 
he had been anointed, he was succeeded by the exponent of 
the new ideas. 

Flabianico reigned for ten years in an uninspiring 
manner. He was, however, quite consistent and carried out 
his rigid principles rigidly. It was in accordance with his 
temperament and with his thoughts that the vigoroiis and 
out-reaching foreign and colonial policies of the Orseoli 
regime were discontinued. The greater European states 
without were at war with one another, and Venice was at 
peace by no special accomplishment of her own. It was a 
free time for revisers of the constitution to go into details 
of custom and precedent and to draw up regulations and 
create offices that should bring aU the energies of the govern- 
ment more into line. It was also a time when some much- 
needed reforms of ecclesiastic and other matters were carried 
out. The Doge himself desired the revival of the assessors 
of his own office. So for Flabianido's particular counselling 
and curbing, Domenico Selvo and Vitale Faliero were 
appointed. Both these nobles attained later to the Dogeship. 
But the immediate successor of Flabianico was Domenico 
CoNTAEiNi. Nothing need be written of this Contarini, al- 
though he reigned for nearly thirty years. Upon his decease, 
the popular voice was lifted high for Domenico Selvo, and 
the records of his election provide a striking picture of the 
methods of Venetian voting, even after a time when Flabianico 
had done his best to make aU poUtical acts affairs of strict 
formality confined to aristocratic parliaments. 

The funeral of the late Doge Contarini was yet proceeding, 
when the population of Venice swarmed in barks and armed 
galleys to the Lido and, led by a Tribune, gave loud voice 
to the cry : " Noi volemo Domenigo Selvo e lo laudiamo." 


The person thus acclaimed was lifted high on the shoulders 
of noble supporters, who, walking amid a turbulent throng 
of people of all ranks, carried their burden to a gondola. 
Directly Selvo found himself aboard, he began to remove 
his shoes. He could only walk barefoot across the Piazzetta 
to the Church of St. Mark, whither he knew he was being 

Then took place a wonderful demonstration of popular 
joy and fervour. As the throng of crafts which followed the 
boat of Selvo moved over the lagoon, one, Domenico Tino, 
began to intone the Te Deum and from all sides his song 
was taken up by glad, melodious voices. Other " graces " 
and the laud of the Prince followed. A rhythmic undertone 
of gently splashed waters accompanied the chant of voyagers 
and oarsmen. Landing in Rialto, Selvo was greeted by a 
group of the clergy and officials of St. Mark. There came 
to meet him also the members of the provisional executive, 
always appointed at a vacation of the ducal throne. Embraced, 
congratvilated, jostled and pressed upon, Selvo entered the 
great church and prostrated himself in prayer. Rising, he 
approached the altar, subscribed before it his promissione, 
and received the standard of the Republic. Being after- 
wards escorted to the Ducal Palace, he took there the oath of 
allegiance required of him in the name of the people. 

Though a man of great activity and promptitude, a clever 
admiral and a valiant fighter, Selvo had artistic tastes, and 
a featiure of his reign was the rapid progress made in the 
rearing of the Byzantine fane of St. Mark, on the sites of the 
early San Marco and stiU earlier San Teodoro, which had been 
cleared some years before. Selvo embellished the Ducal 
Palace also in the Byzantine manner, and substituted stone 
for the woodwork which was stLU conspicuous in the building, 
despite the warning of the fire. During many reigns the 
offerings and prizes of marbles, gold and precious stones, with 
which San Marco caijie to be so richly encrusted, had been 
pouring into Venice from the East, but in that of Selvo a 
more determined collection and selection of Eastern treasures 
was made, and a greater activity fostered in composing and 
executing mosaic pictures, and putting into place, both 


in the palace and the temple, the various fragments that 
constituted in the end the gorgeous harmony of the whole. 

Much of the decoration undertaken by Selvo must have 
been designed to make the pink mansion on the lagoon 
resemble as nearly as possible the white palaces on the 
Bosphorus ; for there came to this Doge a Byzantine bride, 
sent to him by the Greek Emperor. Whether a daughter of 
the previous and a sister of the reigning Suzerain, or only 
the child of a high baron of the Empire, Theodora came 
richly dowered with land and personal possessions, but we 
do not know if she were a gift the Prince of Venice received 
with personal gladness, as well as with official gratification. 
He seems certainly to have had a sure instinct for the gorgeous 
and the fastidious. However it was, Selvo had but little time 
in which to grew either fond or tired of Theodora. It is the 
legend of their marital association, that the Doge had been 
four years on the throne before he married the Grecian, about 
the time of his departure for the siege of Durazzo, and that 
during his absence she not only flaunted unbecoming eastern 
habits in the sight of the more rigorous and frugal western 
peoples, but indulged herself voluptuously, in contempt of 
her duty to her lord and master. There are circumstances 
to be referred to that render this tradition questionable. 
There is, however, no question that imder Doge Selvo the 
Venetian fleet was at this time again in requisition as a strong 
arm for Constantinople in holding her dependencies in Thessaly, 
in particular the well-fortified port of Durazzo. But it was 
not alone enthusiasm for the Greek cause that seat Selvo 
forth in the years 1081, 1082 and 1083 to raise the siege of 
Durazzo and to oppose himself to the Duke of Apuha, fleet to 
fleet, in the endeavour to prevent his possession of the islands 
of Cephalonia and Corfu. For this Duke of Apulia was none 
other than Robert Guiscard, the Norman, who, having gained 
yifith his brother Roger the mastery of Sicily and southern 
Italy, had constituted himself dictator to the Papacy, and had 
successfully disputed with Henry iv of Germany the Empire of 
the West. What time William the Norman was estabhshing 
himself in England, Robert of that race was in f uU force of his 
design to join East to West and make himself a veritable Caesar. 


But for all the flattery of the Imperial gift to Venice of a 
Byzantine bride for the Doge, the Venetians cared less about 
defeating the plan of Robert Guiscard to pave the way for his 
own accession to the Eastern throne by placing a puppet Grecian 
pretender on it, than they did about defending their Dalmatian 
and lUyrian possessions from a Norman conquest. The 
" little Venice " poUcy inaugurated by Doge Flabianico had 
been continued loilg enough to make the tenure of the so-named 
" Doge of Daknatia " far less secure than it had been in OrseoH 
times. Now, all were in arms to defend their own, and Doge 
Selvo set sail for Durazzo with a good will and glad courage 
that he shared with his people. He returned once, twice, 
perhaps thrice, to Venice a conqueror. But, too confident 
of his own prowess and skill, and too contemptuous of his 
opponents' cleverness and courage, he committed at Corfu the 
costly and fatal mistake of supposing a double rout of the enemy 
to constitute a victory for himself so complete that he could 
afford to send home more than half his fleet, and to watch 
from a snug harbour the dislocated movements of the pre- 
sumably defeated Normans. Selvo was both a magnificent 
fighter and a good tactician. The success of his first encounter 
with the Norman fleet in 1081 had been due to his strategy. 
But at Corfu he underrated the ability of his foe, and gave 
an advantage to the Normans, which those notable fighting- 
men were swift to follow up. 

The Doge came back to a Venice where there were many 
to excuse his fault and recall his earlier benefactions to his 
native isles, but it was a Venice angered by the Greek im- 
potence and the Greek selfishness which had again and again 
foiled Venetian attack and undone Venetian plans in the con- 
test which had been entered on mainly on behalf of Greece. 
Venetians were incensed, too, by the Byzantine luxury and the 
Byzantine contemptuousness of the Dogaressa. Poor Theo- 
dora ! She has long borne a reputation in Venetian story 
that would seem not to pertain only if at all to her. Historians, 
from Dandolo to Romanin, have fastened upon her the de- 
scription given by that pious ecclesiastic and fierce zealot 
for monastic discipline Pietro Damiani, of a Byzantine Princess 
married by a Venetian Doge in Constantinople, who brought 


to the capital on the lagoons the extraordinary customs of 
eating her food, after it had been cut up for her by her eunuch 
attendants, with a two-pronged fork of gold, washing her 
hands in perfumes and unguents, scenting her rooms and 
clothing, and, worst of all, bathing her whole body almost 
daily in dew. To Theodora has always been applied 
Damiani's monkish moral of the coming upon the Princess of 
a loathsome disease which gave her tortures proportionately as 
horrible as her late enjoyments had been delicious, and which 
was the just punishment of her delicate habits and of an un- 
cleanness which was not of the body. 

This malady broke out on her fair person and making her 
first disgusting to her waiting-women — at least the Venetian 
ones — eventually carried her to her tomb. But since 
Damiani is authoritatively stated to have died in February 
1072, and Selvo is not supposed to have married Theodora 
until about 1080 and, even if he married her much earlier, 
it is impossible that she could have died before Damiani did, 
the tale of sinful luxiiry and its judgment of foul disease, so 
diligently exploited by many writers in various periods as 
the true and particular history of Theodora, must have been 
told of another ducal consort ; unless, indeed, the paragraph 
attributed to Damiani from the days of Dandolo to those 
of Romanin was not written until after that ecclesiastic's 
death, and placed subsequently among his collected works. 
This is most unlikely. On the other hand, it is very likely 
that it was the earlier Byzantine — the bride of Giovanni Orseolo 
and the victim with him of the plague — who first scandalized 
the ascetics and rigorists of Italy by her eastern refinements. 

Mr. F. C. Hodgson seems to be the only historian of any 
country or age who has noted the discrepancy in attributing 
to Selvo's Dogaressa habits that could only have been chronicled 
of an earlier princess. By an undoubted slip of the pen, Mr. 
Hodgson calls Orseolo's consort Martha, but he is exact enough 
in discarding Damiani's story as that of Theodora. We need 
not doubt, however, that Theodora was more luxurious — it 
might be said more highly civilized — than the western women 
of her time. So also must the Princess Maria Orseoli have 
been more luxurious and more civilized than the people she 


came among after her marriage to the Doge's son, who. was 
quite correctly referred to by Damiani as Dux Venetiarum, 
since he had been early appointed a joint-Doge with his father. 
Nevertheless, against the application of Damiani's account to 
Maria, is the fact that she most certainly died of the plague. 
The discrepancy, however, lies more in the telling than the 
tale. If not a crabbed notion of the monk's alone, that her 
disease was the direct punishment of particular habits, it was 
likely enough the echo of a belief in Venice that the Princess 
Maria personally brought the " judgment " on the Dogado of 
its first epidemic of plague, and that her plague-spot and the 
pest throughout the city were both immediate consequences of 
evil ways, particularly of the sins of preferring eastern luxury 
to western hardihood, and of desiring to live daintily as in king's 
palaces, instead of practising the rude manners proper to a 
daughter of a Republic. 

In any case, we may cotmt the Dogaressa Theodora a luxury- 
loving woman who died before her time, possibly of some ob- 
jectionable complaint that was an eastern heritage. Her 
death preceded the deposition of her Doge, and probably took 
place before his home-coming from his last and most disastrous 
expedition in his country's service. He fell from his high 
estate as he had mounted the throne, alone. Neither Theodora's 
dower, nor the gorgeous ways of her, helped him to any abiding 
comfort, although her coming to Venice had marked the zenith 
of his accomplishment and fame. 


A.D. 1085 TO I 173 

VITALE FALIERO had been the leader of the faction 
accusing Doge Selvo of incapacity and negligence 
in the war against Robert Guiscard. He continued the 
campaign after gaining recognition from the Greek Emperor 
Alexis, as Doge of Dalmatia and Croatia. For a critic 
of the methods of Selvo's warfare, Faliero's own fighting was 
singularly ineffective. Fortunately for his credit as a general, 
the death of Robert put an end to the Greek need of Venetian 
aid, and Faliero sailed for Rialto, arriving there at a time 
when the completion to a point of that restoration of St. 
Mark's Church which Selvo had vigorously aided, revealed 
to all and sundry that the remains of the Evangelist had 

This was a great mystery, but the explanation of the 
authorities was prompt. The corpse had been hidden from 
the flames at the time of the fire by the pious care of the Doge 
(Orseolo) and the Dean, and these guardians had failed 
before their deaths to hand on to their successors the secret 
they had shared. Sceptics of later days have thought and said 
that both coffin and corpse had been consumed by the flames. 
That this was also a popular belief at the time, is proved by 
the great consternation of men's minds when they faced the 
fact that though many gifts had been added to the great 
Venetian treasure-house, its most priceless gem was gone. 
It was soon seen by the Doge and other authorities, both 
ecclesiastical and lay, that such a loss must be quickly repaired 
if Venetians were to be kept in heart and good courage. More- 



over, a discovery of the Saint could not but popularize any 
government instrumental in bringing it about. 

By command of Faliero, therefore, a three days' fast and 
service of intercession was held in the great sanctuary, and 
there on the 25th of June 1094, as people, clergy. Bishop and 
Doge knelt in profound devotion for the singing of the Mass, 
a piece of tapestry covering a pilaster dropped to the ground, 
and an arm was stretched out from behind the marble paneUing. 
This arm being quickly recognized as that of the Saint, the 
joy of all assembled was very great. Both the simples who 
took the apparition for a miracle of Heaven and the gentles 
of politics and ecclesiasticism who had hung the tapestry 
and devised the mechanism that worked so well, were delighted 
at the outcome of their prayers and fastings. Fears were 
pacified and hope came again to Venice. The re-found Saint 
was placed in a marble tomb in the crypt of the Basilica, 
to be found again in March 1811, when proof, if proof were 
needed, of the actuality of the apparition in Doge Faliero's 
reign was provided by the discovery in the burial-place of 
coins, of a ring of gold lacking a stone, with other small objects 
and a note of the event as occurring in the year 1094, the 
8th day of October, Vitale Faliero, Doge. 

So great was the renown achieved for the city by this 
marvellous happening, that, among other pilgrims to the 
Byzantine shrine came the Emperor Henry iv of Germany, 
who was received with aU the honour befitting his rank. 
Lodged in the Ducal Palace and feasted by the Doge, he 
expressed a frank admiration for the magnificent religious 
edifices, as well as for the naval construction yards, the com- 
mercial resources and the political institutions of the Republic. 
Yet the prosperous and independent Venetians, with their pros- 
perous and independent Doge, trusted too much to political 
institutions and ducal rights, while they thought too little of 
domestic economies and disregarded too contemptuously natiiral 
and violent causes of life's ills. In making a compact with the 
vassal town of Loredo, Doge Faliero did not forget to reserve 
to himself the right of hunting in the forests and fishing in 
the streams of the Lore^iese, but he lived improvidently, 
and approved a policy of display rather than one of thrift. 


So, when plague and famine came to Venice, her " institutions " 
could not save her from dire misery and want. Faliero himself 
fell a victim to the pestUence. He was buried beneath the portico 
of the Church of the Evangelist, and the record made : " He 
brought to light the hidden body of St. Mark." But before 
this Breve or his longer epitaph could be engraved, the people 
who had suffered hunger under his administration ran 
tumultuously to his grave, flinging on it wine and bread, 
and crying out in wild barbaric irony : " Satiate thyself now, 
who in life would not provide or make abundance for the 
people ! " 

The sumptuous coffining of St. Mark had not preserved 
the city from famine ! Neither had the parure of her civil 
liberties and sovereign rights made Venice " all glorious 

Wheh Doge Vitale Michieli (1096) at last determined to 
cast in his lot with those other princes and governors of Europe 
who had already sent expeditions to war against the Turks 
in Palestine, he convoked a popular assembly and addressed 
his cotmcillors and subjects in words that left no doubt as 
to the character of the motives that prompted him and all 
Venetians to join in the First Crusade. 

The eloquence of Michieh i was of a different kind from 
that which had first urged the barons of France, Germany 
and Flanders to take the Cross, and later inspired the conquer- 
ing Godfrey of Boulogne to refuse in Jerusalem a golden 
diadem, choosing rather to press on his brows a crown of 
thorns. The affliction of Peter the Hermit for the miseries 
of the Christians in Palestine, and the shame of that enthusiast 
of supreme devotion, for the dishonour done his Lord by the 
subjugation of the Holy Land to Mahommedan rule and 
Mahommedan sacrilege, had not stirred Venetians as it had 
fired Normans and Franks to attempt a great reprisal. The 
oppression of the famine and the poverty in FaUero's time had, 
in part, prevented the men of Venice from being sorry for 
the oppressions of other peoples, or from supporting the 
expense of a relief force. They had also been held back 
from the great adventure of chivalry and religion by their 
devotion to the Greek alliance. It had been the policy at 


Constantinople to discourage any zeal for repelling and 
dispossessing the infidel Turks, for the reason that the schis- 
matic Greeks feared the development of an equal zest in 
punishing and dislodging themselves. In the end, however, 
the mettle of Venetians was tested with the rest. But 
Jerusalem had been taken, Godfrey solemnly crowned there, 
and the beUicose and devout of many nations stirred to fresh 
ardours, before Doge Michieli i proclaimed to his people the 
sanctity of the high enterprise of the Crusade, and the con- 
venience, even the necessity, of the men of Venice taking part 
in it. Religion, pohtics and commercial considerations, he 
said, all called to the Holy War. It was to be seen how 
Pisans and Genoese had forestalled Venetians in the business 
of carrying men and munitions to the front. It was not 
becoming for Venetians to remain passive spectators of the 
aggrandizement of others. 

Loud applause greeted the Doge's peroration, and from all 
sides in the large assembly came offers of personal service 
and of goods and money for the equipment of a fleet worthy of 
the Republic and fitted for the high purpose to which it would 
be destined. So short a time was the expedition preparing 
that the government must have laid their plans long before 
the Doge found the moment propitious to commend them 
to the assembly. Not content with home contributions, two 
commissioners were dispatched to Dahnatia to coUect ships 
and men from that dependency. Then came the solemn act 
of appointing captains of the host going forth to war. Sur- 
rounded by his officers and councillors. Doge Vitale Michieli 
attended the Church of St. Mark in state, and there, after cele- 
bration of the Mass and in the presence of a great concourse 
of his people, he consigned the standard of the Republic to his 
son Giovanni Michieli, the Patriarch of Grado having first 
bestowed on the Bishop of Castello, Enrico Contarini, the 
banner of the Cross. This investiture of the Bishop with 
the name and paraphernalia of a military command, shows 
that the religious nature of the war to be waged was upper- 
most in Venetian minds at least during the ceremony in San 
Marco. It was the religious character of it that was again 
uppermost when, just before sailing. Bishop Contarini repaired 


to the Church of S. Niccolo del Lido, which had been a pious 
donation to Venice of his father, Doge Domenico Contarini. 
Invoking the grace of God on high, the Bishop prayed to 
bring back to his country the body of St. Nicholas glorioso 
in terra ed in mare. Yet it was love of glory, pomp and power, 
rather than piety and religious fervour, that drew to the 
sands of the Lido, when the armada finally spread sail, a 
great concourse of excited Venetians, who saluted the emerging 
vessels with shouts of satisfaction and prognostications of 

How Bishop Contarini found the body of St. Nicholas the 
Great and another Nicholas, uncle to the first, on the Isle 
of Myra ; how he bore them away from there ; how Giovanni 
Michieli consulted at Joppa with the princes Guarnerius of 
Greis and Tancred of Sicily as to a combined mode of 
action for the support of the advantages already gained by 
King Godfrey of Jerusalem ; and how both Contarini and 
Michieli presented to Godfrey marvellous and extraordinary 
gifts of gold, silver and precious stones from the Doge of 
Venice, cannot be told in detail. The incidents are not 
part of the life-story of Michieli i. By tracing the steps of 
Giovanni, as he recognized in Baldwin, son of Godfrey, the 
hereditary King of Jerusalem, and as he met, at first with bland 
parley, but afterwards with sharp fighting and a decisive rout, 
a fleet of Pisan mercenaries dispatched by the Greek Emperor 
to intercept his course, we see foundations laid for the career 
of another Doge Michieli, even for Domenico, the most chival- 
rous and the most successful of all the Crusader Doges. But 
we should not lose sight of the later achievements of Doge 
Vitali. He appeared again with aU fitting pomp and circum- 
stance when this first of the Venetian crusading expeditions 
returned to the lagoons on 6th December iioo. The day was 
St. Nicholas' Day. Some leisurely tacking or a prolonged 
anchorage in the Gulf of Venice had no doubt ensured the 
fleet's arrival on that anniversary, but the great crowd 
gathered on the quay of Castello as little suspected any 
management of the coincidence as they questioned the genuine- 
ness of the relics from Myra. Most devoutly and truly the 
Venetians believed that St. Nicholas, " glory of the earth and 


sea," and his relative of the same cognomen, had come among 

No Prince of settled state, only adventurous Norman ones, 
took personal part in the first Crusade. There had therefore 
been no call for the Doge himself to go to the Holy Land. 
He was, however, as prompt in action and as ready to war 
as his son, and he had commanded a Venetian flotilla that, 
at the request of the Countess Matilda of Tuscany, had sailed 
up the Po in conjunction with some Ravennese ships of war, 
and besieged the town of Ferrara. In thus supporting the 
Countess, Michieli i showed himself to be for the Guelphs ; 
for the independence of towns and the sovereignty of 
small states; for the Pope and an unsettled Italy, against 
the GhibeUines and an alien domination. Yet, though in- 
clining often to the Guelph cause, Venice was ever GhibeUine 
in her determination to resist ecclesiastical interference with 
lay decisions. 

After the Ravennese and the Countess Matilda, the next 
allies of Michieli — allies of an hour — were the Hungarians 
who, like the Venetians themselves, had suffered much from 
the Norman incursions on the Istrian and Dalmatian coasts. 
With a rough and formidable horde, Doge Vitale went forth 
to give the Normans battle in their own particular haunts. 
Brindisi and Monopoli were seized and the surrounding country 
fired and put to the sword. These were events of the fifth 
and last year of the reign of the first Michieli. He did not long 
survive to wear the honours of his chief campaign. 

The Doge who succeeded — Ordelafo Faliero — was 
active in the Holy Land as well as in Dalmatia. Valorous 
in the field, he was also prompt in peace-time to provide for 
outbreaks of hostilities. Moreover, he was pious and artistic, 
as is shown by his bringing to Venice from the East the Pala 
d'oro, a slab of gold which covers the altar of St. Mark, and 
by his going in state with his Dogaressa — a young kinswoman 
of Matilda of Tuscany— to take from the vessel which had 
brought them to Venice from Constantinople, the bones of 
St. Stephen the Martyr, a fragment of the True Cross, and 
other relics, which in the procession by gondola and on foot, 
from the seashore to their shrine, were borne in their ancient 


casket on the shoulders of the Doge himself. In this Faliero's 
time was commenced the famous Arsenal which became so soon, 
and has remained so long, one of the sights of Venice. While 
encouraging his forces by his own prowess and activity in a 
battle against the Hungarians before Zara, Ordelafo Faliero 
received his death-wound. Like Doge Pietro Candiano, he 
died fighting for his country, and of him another Doge (Dan- 
dolo) said : Most glorious days terminated with his life. Glorious 
days also followed. Yet Faliero was deeply regretted, and 
records are particular of the tears shed at his funeral. A man 
of battles, he wels yet a Doge beloved. 

DoMENico MiCHiELi was perhaps not so lovable, nor so 
popularly admirable. He was, however, truly great. To 
recklessness he added calculation ; to activity, judgment ; 
to idealism, promptitude. He responded in person to the 
direct call of Pope Calixtus 11, who in order to cement the 
peace of Europe — that peace which followed the war between 
the Papacy and the Empire, called the War of the Investiture — 
enjoined upon all Christian rulers of the West the necessity of 
banding themselves together for the rescue of their fellow- 
Christians in Moslem lands. In this Crusade the reigning 
monarchs Louis vii of France and the Emperor Conrad iii 
took part. It was fitting, therefore, for the Doge of Venice to 
be himself in the field. 

Not in the Ducal Palace, but in the Church of St. Mark, 
did the assembly meet Li which, upon the exhortation of the 
Doge, it was resolved that Venice should take the Cross. The 
ceremony began with the singing before the High Altar of 
the Melss of the Holy Spirit. Then the Patriarch of Grado 
read aloud to the people the letter from the Pope to the 
Doge which asked for the aid of a fleet. This reading finished, 
Michieli il rose in his place of honour and preached to his 
people a famous discourse upon the needs and advantages 
of the Crusade. His sermon, a veritable triumph of 
oratory, made many of its hearers decide, against their 
reasoned principles, to commit the magnificent folly of 
forsaking the tangible good of well-ordered civic and 
domestic life, for the intangible benefit of following a sublime 
impulse. In that year 1121, there were men of mind and 


substance in Venice, who feared that the five years' truce, 
recently i concluded with King Stephen ii of Hungary, 
could not last unless the Republic made it the first task of 
fleet and army to protect Dalmatia. There were others who 
pointed out that the new Emperor of the East, John Calojanni, 
had not yet confirmed the ancient privileges enjoyed by the 
Venetians in the Byzantine dominions, and that the appear- 
ance in eastern waters of such a fleet as Pope Calixtus asked 
them to dispatch, could not but rouse Greek jealousy and 
suspicion. Against all these fears, the words of Doge Michieli ii 

After speaking of the miseries of the Christian population 
in Palestine ; of the imprisonment being endured by King 
Baldwin ; of the insufficiency of that monarch's forces and 
his imminent peril, Michieli recalled the fame of those who 
had gone on the first expedition. The advantages then 
obtained were to be obtained again, and priceless service 
would be rendered to Religion and Christianity by the sending 
of the fleet desired. Thus far with balanced statements ; 
then he became rhetorical ! " The entire kingdom of Jeru- 
salem is in strife," he cried, " and the Holy Pontiff exhorts 
and conjures you not to allow the Faith to perish in those 
regions, through its distresses. Devote then, to that end, 
the naval power that God has given you ! What will not 
be the immortal glory and the splendour redounding to your 
name ? What will not be your merit in God's sight ? You 
win be the admiration of Europe and of Asia. The banner 
of St. Mark will float triumphantly in those distant parts. 
New profits, new founts of greatness will accrue to our most 
noble country. And who among you cares so little for these 
things, as not to desire the ever wider extension of an Empire, 
subduing other powers and spreading over the sea ? In- 
flamed by the holy zeal of your reUgion, moved with com- 
passion for your feUows and elevated as an example for all 
Europe, take up your arms. Think of the honours and the 
guerdons ! TMnk of the triumph to be ! Think of the 
benediction of Heaven ! " 

In charge of affairs at home, Michieli ii left his sons 
Lucchino and Domenico. Forty galleys of various form and 


draught — mostly transports — twenty-eight great warships of 
a hundred oars apiece, and four bigger vessels still — the 
Dreadnoughts of their day — composed his armada. 
" Picturesque " and " splendid " were among the epithets 
used by spectators to describe the pageant of many-hued 
sails and hulls that floated grandly on the blue Adriatic 
beneath the golden sunshine. Colour ran riot on the day 
of the sailing of Doge Domenico Michieli. Warriors and 
pilgrims, infantry and cavalry, were conveyed with an ease 
and a display no other nation of Europe could have emulated. 
The demonstration greatly alarmed the inhabitants of Bari — 
the first port touched at — and the Doge had to give assurances 
that he would allow no molestations. Sail was then set for 
Corfu, where, after a siege which rendered command of the 
harbours to the Venetians, the fleet remained for the rest 
of the winter. In the early spring, trumpet-caUs and a 
ceremonial invocation of Divine Help gave signal for the 
weighing of anchors. The islands of Chio, Lesbos and Rhodes 
were successively devastated, and no check was experienced 
until Cyprus was reached. There the Doge had news of the 
sailing of an Egyptian fleet to the aid of the Saracens in the 
Holy Land. Steering first for Joppa (Jaffa), this fleet had 
changed its course and proceeded towards Ascalon. Thirsting 
for encounter with the enemy, the Venetians also came 
about, and the Doge held a council of war. It was decided 
to form his ships into two divisions, one of which was to make 
feint of going on to Joppa, while the other lingered on the 
high seas as if it were a little squadron of merchant vessels 
carrjdng pilgrims from Cyprus. This manoeuvre being accom- 
plished, the misled Saracens came on in pursuit of what they 
took to be easy prizes. Night fell before an attack could 
be made, and when the dawn broke over the quiet sea, 
the Saracens found themselves face to face with the might 
of the Venetian navy. No time for councils of war in the 
Egyptian squadron. The surprise was complete, and upon 
the instant of day, one of the great Venetians galleys, the 
Doge himself being on board, bore swiftly down upon the 
vessel of the enemy's captain, and, dashing into it, half sank 
it by the impact. On swept the other ships of Michieli's 


fleet ; the engagement became general, and the fight so fast 
and furious, that the calm waters of the Mediterranean were 
dyed deeply with Saracen blood and covered thickly with 
floating bodies of swarthy slain. 

The victory of Michieli was completed by the immediate 
seizure of some of the enemy's warships and the taking, as 
his fleet sailed on to Tolemaide, of many coracles laden with 
precious merchandise, silks, materials of war, drugs and 
spices. When the news of the arrival of the Doge at Tole- 
maide reached Jerusalem, the Patriarch, the high officers of 
the imprisoned Baldwin, together with other bishops and 
barons of the kingdom, met together and dispatched am- 
bassadors to greet and congratulate Michieli at the port. This 
mission was received by the Doge with becoming ceremony 
and feeUng. In response to the offers of the ambassadors, 
of any attentions and civilities that His Serenity would regard 
as expressions of the kingdom's indebtedness and of the 
general gratitude of the Christians in those parts, Michieli 
asked for the fulfilment of the desire which ever since he 
had quitted Venice had filled his heart. This desire was to 
visit the sacred places sanctified by the Sacraments and 
mysteries of our Salvation. Nothing, Michieli averred, could 
give him greater gratification than to repair to these spots 
accompanied by the many illustrious lords and officers who 
sent him greetings, and who should be witnesses of the 
fulfilment of his vow to reach Jerusalem. The desire of the 
Doge being granted, Michieli left his fleet under other command, 
and went to receive the honours and respects awaiting him 
in the sacred city, as well as to do there all the reverences 
and humilities proper for a Christian Prince approaching 
the most holy shrines of his faith. 

The piety of this Doge, and his concern for the renown 
of Venetian achievement, were further most clearly demon- 
strated in an oration dehvered by him before the civil and 
ecclesiastical chiefs of the government of Jerusalem. In this 
speech, Michieli declared that in leaving his coimtry and 
steering his great armada to those distant shores, he had had 
no purpose more deeply at heart than that of helping and 
solacing his feUow-Christians and aiding in the establishment 


of the Christian dominion in those parts. The reHgious 
fervour for which the Venetians had always been distinguished, 
they desired to prove now by their deeds. In fine, they 
would be now, as always, prompt to devote all their means 
and all their forces to the development of the grandeur, the 
power and the glory of the Christian Commonwealth. 

In a council of war which followed the visit of Michieli, 
it was long debated whether the strong seaport of Tyre or the 
less-guarded inland city of Ascalon shoiild be first besieged. 
Eventually the question was decided by lot, and when the 
boy who was set to draw the fateful slip from the urn of chance, 
handed to the Patriarch the one on which Tyre was written, 
the Metropolitan, with the other lords of state assembled, 
proceeded at once to Tolemaide, where the Venetian fleet still 
lay in harbour. In the Church of the Holy Cross at that port 
it was solemnly promised and sworn, that in all cities subjected 
by the aid of Michieli's fleet to the dominion of King Baldwin 
and his barons, a territory containing a piazza (market-square) 
a bath-house and a bakery should be ceded to the Venetians 
in perpetuity without payment of any impost. It was further 
arranged that the King of Jerusalem and his lords should 
pay annually to the Doge of Venice on the Feast-Day of 
Saint Peter and Saint Paul, the sum of three hundred 

The Venetians on their part were to pay some minor duties 
when they brought pilgrims or the merchandise of foreigners 
into the harbours of Palestine, and if they had contentions 
with persons not of their own nationality, they were to submit 
themselves with their opponents to the jurisdiction of the King 
of Jerusalem. When, however, both litigants were Venetians, 
the bailiff of the Doge was to pass judgment. For all his 
enthusiasm and visionary ambition, Michieli proved himself in 
Palestine, as he had shown himself on Rialto, a good bargainer. 
This was only to say that he was essentially a Venetian and 
a Doge as clever at contract as any of his forerunners. His 
immediate predecessor, Ordelafo Faliero, had also combined 
the zeal of a Crusader with the cleverness of a man of business, 
and had, after his acquisition of Sidon, obtained grants at 
Acre which Michieli did not fail now to get confirmed. These 


grants included a portion of the market-place and surrounding 
neighbourhood in Acre. ■' 

Having concluded the preliminary negotiations, Michieli 
sailed for Tyre, where he formed a junction with the army from 
Jerusalem. Although both as engineers and as fighting men the 
assailants were the superiors of the defenders, the fortfess held 
out for many days. Hot attacks, sorties and skirmishes with 
would-be relief parties were of frequent occurrence, and the 
spirits of the Venetian allies became depressed by the long 
waiting. The arrival of the Norman Prince of Tripoli gave 
fresh courage to the besiegers, but hope ebbed again when it 
was rumoured that an army from Damascus and a fleet from 
Egypt were coming to raise the siege of the redoubtable city. 
It was a black time for the Christian host, and in the hours 
of their suspense the nationalities began to jar on one another. 
Whether from spite or misunderstanding is not to be said, but 
the Franks accused the Venetians of planning to desert them. 
The nearness of their fleet gave cause for imagining that 
the naval allies might at any moipent step aboard their vessels 
and push off for the Adriatic. However that may be, the 
Doge acted with admirable promptitude in an ugly situation. 
Calling his men together, he went with them to the harbour, 
and there gave orders for certain planks and portions of rigging 
to be detached from each ship and brought back to the camp 
as pledges of Venetian loyalty. This chivalric action had a 
splendid effect. Better comradeship was at once established, 
and courage revived all round. Determination was then 
taken to prevent the approach of the reUef expeditions from 
Damascus and Alexandria. The Count of Tripoli and the 
Constable of Jerusalem marched to the encounter of the land 
force, and the Doge sailed with the bulk of his men to intercept 
the Saracenic armada. Some parties of Venetians, as of 
Franks, were left before the city as hostages of the re-junction 
of all forces, and both army and fleet returned eventually 
without having drawn a bow or hurled a projectile. The 
Damascenes had retreated precipitately at the news of the 
advance of the Christian host, and although the Doge had sailed 
within view of Alexandria he had espied nowhere any move- 
ment on the part of the Egyptian fleet. Once more, the allies 


sat down before the impregnable walls of Tyre, and the holders 
of the citadel, becoming desperate in their hunger and generally 
forlorn condition, made at last a furious sortie in which they 
attempted to set fire to the great tower of assault which the 
Franlcs and Venetians had biiilt over against the Tyrian gates. 
Their attempt failed through the prompt action of the Crusaders 
as a body, and of one intrepid Frank in particular. The in^ 
cendiaries were caught and hanged, but the garrison stiU held 
out stoutly, and sufferings increased among the Christian 
troops. Yet, nothing daunted, the besiegers applied themselves 
to adding to and strengthening their engines of war. 

The time spent by the Venetians on this Crusade had now 
passed all anterior calculations. Money was giving out, but 
so sure was Doge Michieli of ultimate victory and future 
gains, that he had leather currency made, which he promised 
to redeem in Venice when the war was over. 

The city of the purple-seUers was gained at last through 
strategy. The King of Damascus having taken courage from 
the Christians' long wait for success, approached in force with 
the view of relieving the Saracens. Unable to come quite near, 
he sent a heartening message by a carrier-dove, whose flight he 
trusted would be unobserved. But the white-winged messenger 
was noticed against the blue sky, and by a common impulse the 
men of Venice set up a shout. The gentle bird was startled. 
It hesitated, circled, lost its bearings, fluttered to earth. 
Then for the true message of the Saracenic King was substi- 
tuted another, also in Arabic, which told the holders of Tyre 
to expect no help from Damascus. Capitulation followed. 
The defenders sent ambassadors to the Christian camp to treat 
for peace. Honourable terms were granted to them, and very 
soon the standard of Jerusalem's King, with the baimers of 
the Count of Tripoli and of St. Mark, were floating side by side 
on the highest tower of Tyre. The city was divided : two parts 
for Jerusalem and one for the Doge of Venice, according to the 
general compact made before the setting out of the expedition. 
It was further decreed that the day of the entry of the Christians 
into the city should be kept thereafter as a solemn festival. 
A few months later, Baldwin was liberated, and he then con- 
firmed, in docxmients even more explicit than the originals, all 


the concessions and privileges given to Michieli and his 
Venetians at Acre. Three churches were built by the Venetians 
on their territory in Tyre, and justiciary and commercial 
establishments set up. A bailiff and other high officers 
were appointed, who took oaths to adminster the laws of 
Venice and other special regulations of the locality with 
justice ; the inhabitants of the Venetian sphere had, on their 
part, to swear fidelity to the Doge and his successors. 

Hardly had Michieli organized the government of his new 
colony in Tyre, when news came to him of the not unexpected 
investment of certain Dalmatic towns by Stephen, King of 
Hungary. At the same time, information was received 
concerning various molestations of Venetian traffic and 
security by the Emperor Calojanni, who was growing more 
and more jealous of a power once subsidiary to, but now 
quite independent of, the Grecian Empire. 

From Tyre, Michieli sailed with his tried armada and 
seasoned handy-men to Europe, touching at Greek islands on 
the way and devastating them for booty. Coming to the 
Adriatic, he seems not to have sighted Venice, but to have 
gone at once to the relief of Dalmatia, where he took back 
easily the towns besieged by King Stephen. Reinforcements 
from Venice joining him, Michieli turned to complete his 
punishment of the Eastern Emperor by an occupation of 
Cephalonia. From this point of vantage he so successfully 
menaced the Greeks, that Calojanni sent ambassadors to 
treat with him for peace. Difficulties arising from the 
subtlety and deception of the Greek character prevented a 
speedy contract. When terms were at last concluded, the 
irritation of the Venetians had been so fine, that a prohibition 
went forth in Rialto against the wearing of beards in the 
Greek fashion. 

It may be imagined in what triumph Doge Michieli returned 
to Venice. From the farther and the nearer shores and 
islands of the lagoons his people rushed to greet him, to 
acclaim his valour and to praise him for his great advancement 
of the glory and prosperity of his country. Second only to 
their admiration of their Doge's prowess was their wonder 
at the spoils of his conquests — the precious marbles, the 


splendid stuffs and the sacred relics. Ah, yes, these relics 
were treasures indeed for Venice ! Though far from rivalling 
St. Mark or St. Nicholas, the remains of St. Isidor and 
St. Donatus were good to attract ceremonial visitations of 
the Doge and foreign princes, and to demand profitable 
reverences from the devout of Venice and many distant lands. 

Some months of quiet, wise administration followed the 
return of Michieli, and then the Terror Gr^ecorum and Laus 
Venetorum, els his epitaph designated him, withdrew from 
the pomp and circumstance that had never pleased him half 
so well as had the activities and responsibilities of his office, 
and retired to the monastery of San Giorgio. Perhaps he 
felt already the approach of dissolution ; perhaps he suffered 
from some ailment contracted in the East. In any case, he 
died a few months after his resignation ; died while his 
popularity was at height, ani& while his people still thought 
with pride and gratitude of his dramatic military successes ; 
still honoured him els a ruler of great probity and wisdom. 

The Doges who followed him, Pietro Polani and 
DoMENico MoROSiNi, respectively gave to Venice eighteen 
and seven and a half years of " glorious government," but 
though men of honour and capacity, they were worthy officials 
rather than great personages. They reigned at a time when 
the actions and projects of Giovanni Michieli had welded the 
dominions of Venice into a compact whole, and had inspired 
Venetians with such confidence in their country's destiny 
that the islanders acted as one man in all their enterprises, 
both of war and of trade. 

Doge Domenico Morosini left his country strong in many 
political and commercial treaties with Italian and Syrian 
cities. Among them, the compacts with the Prince of 
Antioch and with Wilham, son of the Repubhc's former 
bitter enemy, Roger, King of the Two SiciUes, were the most 
recent. Yet in spite of so many arrangements and alliances, 
war was the first business of Vitale Michieli, who succeeded 
to the ducal throne in 1156. 

The Patriarch of Aquileia had greatly resented a bull of 
Pope Adrian iv — the only Englishman who ever occupied 
the papal chair — which subjected all Dalmatia to the See 


of Grado, and he had gone against the Venetian Arch- 
bishop [Enrico Dandolo] with a great fleet. Dandolo took 
refuge on Rialto, and the Doge's revenge upon the invading 
prelate was swift and formidable. He seized many of the 
AquUeian ships and fighting men, and brought the Arch- 
bishop himself and twelve of his canons to Venice. The 
Friulian lords and chiefs who had assisted the invader were 
pursued with utmost fury ; many of them, and their castles 
too, being ruthlessly destroyed. 

The punishnlent of the ecclesiastics was milder, but more 
insulting. Liberated after a short imprisonment, the penalty 
was laid upon the Metropolitan of sending every year to the 
Doge of Venice twelve loaves of bread, together with twelve 
boar pigs and a great ox — figures of the twelve canons and 
their Archbishop ! 

These barbaric emblems were solemnly received on Maundy 
Thursday by the Doge and the nobles of Venice assembled 
in the Chamber of the Piovega, then given over to the people 
to be hunted round the city, in sign of the fate supposedly 
deserved by all enemies of Venice in general and by the 
Archbishop of Aquileia and his canons in particular. A 
further curious feature of the proceedings was the building 
up and breaking down of little castles made with sticks or 
logs, to typify the demolished strongholds of the Friulians. 
These ceremonies were performed annually until the time of 
Doge Andrea Gritti, the middle of the sixteenth century — 
just on four hundred years. From the year 1420, however, 
when the temporal power of the Bishop of Aquileia became 
extinct, the tribute was paid out of the Venetian treasury, 
in order that the people might not be deprived of a much- 
enjoyed diversion. In 1550 both the hunting of the pigs and 
the demolishing of the castles were put an end to, and a 
commission appointed to provide a method of rendering the 
festival more dignified and fitting. The day's celebrations 
consisted thereafter in a simple visit of the Doge to the 
Piovega Chamber, and the decapitation of an ox by a member 
of the Guild of the Smiths. This rueful performance appears 
to have been retained in the interests of the forgers of sword- 
blades, as a sort of public trial of the temper of their weapons. 


The peace which followed the war of the second Vitale 
Michieli, was celebrated by the marriage of the two sons of the 
Doge — Niccolo and Leonardo — to Hungarian Princesses. Some 
sharp fighting and many determined assertions of Venetian 
authority had preceded the negotiations. Even so, the peace 
did not last long. It was otherwise with a later expedition, 
which began with even more promise and advertisement than 
had ushered the famous war-adventure of his father, the great 
Doge Domenico. This later expedition was against the 
Greek Emperor Emmanuel Commenos, who, angered first by 
the fraternizing of his erstwhile allies with his enemies the 
Sicilians, and subsequently by the refusal of his own overtures 
to each to make war with him on the other, had dealt 
treacherously with the Venetian traders at the Golden Horn, 
confining the whole colony oi them in dungeons, confiscating 
their goods and generally breaking faith and treaty with 

Never did the bellicose and negotiatory impulses in Venetians 
seem more sharply in contest. The inclination of Michieli 
himself was certainly for war, yet he hesitated and listened 
to the praters who, imperceptive of the real nature of the poten- 
tate they had to deal with, and uninformed by past experiences 
of the quality of the Greek mind, urged that there must be 
some mistake, that explanations would conie, that negotiations 
should be tried. Upon report of the hesitation, Emmanuel 
availed himself of it to send a message of regret and an 
offer of compensation. Loud was the vaunting of the men 
of commerce. Instead of Michieli's war fleet, there was sent 
to Constantinople a convoy of merchantmen having aboard 
Sebastiano Ziani and Orio Malipiero, present plenipoten- 
tiaries and future Doges of Venice. 

Arrived in Constantinople, the plenipotentiaries were 
affably and ceremonially received, but treachery lurked 
behind. Ziani and Malipiero, with the bulk of the Venetian 
population, were only preserved from foul play and put safely 
on the way back to the Adriatic by the plan of a Venetian 
shipbuilder, who, although high in Imperial favour and a 
master practising his art most profitably in Constantinople, 
disclosed the secret machinations against the liberties and 


lives of the Venetian residents and visitors, and decided to 
throw in his lot with his threatened feUow-countrymen. The 
shipwright had in his yard, just fitting out, a vessel swifter 
than any other in the Greek navy. This vessel he offered 
as an ark of salvation to his compatriots, and in it Ziani, 
Malipiero and himself, with its crew and a load of Venetians 
of all conditions, escaped from the vindictive designs of 
Emmanuel, making Rialto in twenty-five days. There was no 
■hesitation, no talk of bargaining now ; only vowing of vengeance. 
The fleet of Vitale, consisting of one hundred galleys 
fiUed with fighting men, and twenty transports for ammuni- 
tion and provisions, was soon equipped. A contingent of 
serviceable vessels from Zara swelled its size. As a prelimin- 
ary excursion, the Dalmatic towns of Trau and Ragusa were 
recovered once more from Hungarian allegiance. Then the 
armada spread sail for Negropont. Here the Greek governor 
had the word of the Emperor to be suave, to be specious, to 
gain time, and here Michieli fell from the fervour and the 
intention of his sailing, and allowed himself to be wheedled 
and cozened, not upon the persuasions of the Governor of 
Negropont, but upon those of a certain temporizing instinct in 
himself, and of a certain faction of compromise which stiU was 
strong — as he well knew — in Venice. Only by virtue of the 
trader's instinct in him could he have attempted once again 
the undoing of the Emperor by sending another set of Am- 
bassadors to Constantinople. But this he did, committing 
a great error, for, although his Ambassadors returned to him 
safely, they had arrived at Scio, where the fleet had been lying 
low for some time, to find a scourge of plague among their 
men. This scourge followed Michieli's adventure back to 
Rialto. And there much public abuse was hurled against the 
man who brought the plague to Venice, but who had failed not 
only to make opportunities for warring on the Emperor, but 
also to seize his advantage against the enemy when it had come. 
The Venetians had lost not alone their poured-out treasure for 
the equipment of the fleet now so depleted and distressed, but 
they had been deprived of much wealth in sons and robbed 
of the national glory and greatness that would have been rich 
compensation for all private losses. 



j)^f A further mistake of Doge Vitale Michieli — second of his 
name and fourth of his Una — was his defence of his conduct 
in a stormy assembly of the legislature, to which the public 
had admittance. Howls, threats and brandished knives 
were the answers to his self-justifications. He knew his doom 
was fixed, and made a brave submission. Leaving the Ducal 
Palace, as his custom was, quite unattended, he proceeded to 
vespers at San Zaccaria. Some of the more implacable of the 
rioters followed him. One of these, a man of rank and stand- 
ing in the city, but one without sense of class-comradeship, 
all enraged by the popular frenzy, came up with] the Doge 
quite suddenly, and, stretching forward, plunged a dagger 
into his breast. The last of the Michieli uttered no reproach, 
but did not fall supinely. Rallying by a supreme effort his 
oozing strength, he staggered on to the gate of the convent, 
where a priest, waiting to receive him, drew him gently in and 
administered the Viaticum. 


A.D. I 173 TO 1205 

IN spite of all the reforms of the times of childless Flabianico 
and after, the tendency was stiU strong in the people 
of Venice to elect sons of the Doges to the ducal office. 
It was also still permitted to proper heirs — at least in the 
cases of the Doges who went to the Holy Land — to assist their 
fathers in the administration. The forces of human nature and 
of circumstance, as also of the character and genius of the 
Michieli family, had proved too strong for the dicta of statute- 
makers. But now that a Michiel had failed somewhat in his 
discharge of the trust committed to him, the time had come to 
make the choice of Doges a matter for expert judgment rather 
than for popular decision. 

The moment was propitious too — or so the aristocratic 
families thought — for organizing the legislature, which still 
retained its ancient form, or formlessness. In theory, parlia- 
ment still consisted of every male adult who from Grado to 
Brondolo might choose to propel himself in light skiff or rudely 
bound raft, to the Piazza on Rialto, and there shout with the 
crowd for a Doge, a war, a loan or a law. 

Sebastiano Ziani (1172) was the first Doge elected upon 
the new system, which took a commission of three justices 
six months to formulate. Its chief provisions were the division 
of the city into six wards, and the nomination by each ward 
of two representatives of qua,lity and accomplishment, to each 
of whom was given the task of electing forty members of the 
new legislative body, to be called the Great Council. Each 
ward had also to depute one male person of gravity and 



capacity, to make up a Privy Council of six, to replace the 
two assessors of the Dogeship who, since they were appointed 
by the Doge himself, had never been of much use as checks 
on, or guides of the Executive. The 480 members of the 
Great Council had, as their first duty, to elect by ballot 
37 of their number, who by compUcated processes balloted 
for II worthies. These eleven, in their turn, chose forty 
(afterwards forty-one) voters, to whom the responsibility fell 
of electing the Doge. 

When the rival claims of the young Orio Malipiero and 
the aged Sebastian© Ziani had long been debated, it was decided 
at last to hail Ziani as Doge of Venice. He was presented 
to the, people gathered in their hosts in the Basilica of St. 
Mark, with the words : " Questo e' il vostro doge se vi piace." 
The people replied : " Viva il doge e Dio voglia ch'ei ci procuri 
la pace." 

After the great loss in men, money and goods which 
the abortive war in Greece had brought upon Venice ; after 
strife and pestilence ; after " battle, murder and sudden death," 
the Doge to please the people, must be the Doge who would 
procure peace. Ziani proved himself a peacemaker indeed. 
No hesitating suer for truces he, but a man to deserve good 
will because of promptness in attack and defence when need 
or honour called ; and because of his large-hearted generosity 
and true catholicity of sympathy and taste. It was Sebastiano 
Ziani who greatly enlarged the Ducal Palace, bringing it to 
the final form and development in the Byzantine style in 
which it remained until the Gothic Palace was begun a himdred 
years later. In the reign of Ziani also, the Piazza was paved, 
colonnades added to its south side, and the pillars of San 
Teodoro and San Marco erected. He exerted himself per- 
sonally to improve the conditions of life for the prisoners 
kept in the palace dungeons, and did all munificently, at his 
own expense. He had the wealth to do it with, it is true. 
The name of Ziani was the synonym in Venice of the Middle 
Ages for that of Crcesiis in an older state and time. 

Concerning the; origin of Ziani riches, the tradition was 
held that a remote ancestor had found among the ruins of 
Altinum a cow of massive gold, supposed to have been dedi- 


cated to Juno. Whether this cow were an allegorical creature 
or a solid object, it had been evident to all Altinum for many 
generations that wealth from some plentiful source flowed 
steadily into Ziani coffers, and also proceeded out again, 
liberally. It was surely no illiberality in Doge Sebastiano 
that he forbade the Procurator of St. Mark to allow the alms 
of the faithful to be given to friends and followers of the 
officials of the Church, or to those who pleaded loudest for 
help . They were to be bestowed rather upon orphans and other 
genuine poor. 

In the time and under the circumstances in which Sebastiano 
Ziani came to the throne, a better man could not have been 
chosen. A septuagenarian of whom it was said that his 
ardour and spirits rose as his physical strength and his eye- 
sight declined, Ziani had had experience. He knew men 
and understood that contentions must be, and that human 
characters are various and require to be variously dealt with. 
Though enthusiastic and courageous, it did not chafe him to 
have to convince others — those duU and unimaginative others ! 
— of the worth of his own convictions. Neither did he regard 
counsel as an impertinence. He seems, moreover, to have 
been a truly religious man. 

Venice had never yet pronounced herself Guelph or 
Ghibelline. In the battle of the Black and the White — as in 
so many other controversies — ^the Venetians had waited the 
issue of events and refrained from any declaration, for fear 
of finding themselves on the losing side. Moreover, the Doges 
had generally had concessions and privileges to claim from 
successive Emperors of the West, and to be a Guelph while seek- 
ing favours of the Ghibelline chief would have been to assume 
an indefensible position. But now the times had moved, 
and in the seat of Charlemagne there sat a young Prince — 
or rather there tramped through Europe fretting, fuming, 
threatening and devastating — a young Prince of noble mien 
and commanding ways, whose name and nickname were 
Frederick and Barbarossa. 

This redbeard, then, hurled against the principalities and 
commonwealths of Italy such orders to submission and 
such assertions of authority, that all the natural Guelphism 


of Ziani and his people rose to arms. " Italy for the Italians," 
" God and our right," were some Guelph sentiments inalien- 
able from the Venetian character. 

When the most canonically elected Pope Alexander iii 
found himself confronted by a minority-voted Pope Victor iv, 
who had the support of the sword and of the prestige of 
Barbarossa, Ziani stretched a hand to the Guelph pontiff, 
and gave aid to, if he did not become a member of, the 
Lombard League of free cities. This league had been formed 
in defiance of the German over-lord and in alliance with 
the Norman house that ruled the Two Sicilies. 

With the flight of Alexander iii to France, the story of 
Doge Ziani has no concern, but with the coming of that Pope 
to San Nicolo di Lido — as some chroniclers record — and with 
his proceeding incognito to the Monastero de la Carita, where, 
according to a Venetian tradition, he stayed and administered 
the offices to the humble brothers, Ziani's story becomes 
involved with that of the persecuted Holy Father. It is 
said that a Venetian who had once made a pilgrimage to Rome, 
what time Alexander iii held brief court there, perceived and 
revealed to the Doge the identity of the wanderer-priest in the 
Carita. Some modern historians doubt, though none can 
deny, the tale of the going of Doge Ziani in all state to the 
Lido to greet the Pope there. But true or fancied, the details 
have significance, and may be related as having veritably 
occurred. Accompanied by the Bishop of Torcello and with 
a following of priests and laymen of many grades, the Doge 
took from Venice a set of pontifical robes, with which, when 
he was met, Alexander was immediately vested. So with a 
circumstance very different from that in which he had been 
found, the rightfidly elected Father of all Faithful was con- 
ducted to Rialto and lodged in the palace there of the Arch- 
bishops of Grado. A little later he appeared publicly in San 
Marco and, in recognition of his honourable reception, gave 
Doge Ziani the right for himself and his successors of wearing 
a white circlet, in token that he was a " good and pacific Doge." 

And Ziani did more than pay compliments to Alexander in. 
It WELS determined in the ducal council to send Ambassadors 
to Barbarossa, specially to pray the Emperor to be at peace 


with the Roman Pontiff. Frederick gave gracious reception 
to the Ambassadors, but suddenly his bearing changed. 
" Tell your Doge," he broke out, " that he ought not to give 
shelter to the fugitive Pope, and if he persists, say that I will 
take an armament that will pierce to the very heart of your 
city, and place the Eagle in the Church of St. Mark, to stay 
there for evermore." 

The orators of Venice reported the rough utterance to the 
Doge and his guest, and Ziani, we may be sure, needed no 
prompting for his reply. " If the Emperor wage war, he will 
find us outside the city, not in it. With a fleet we will sail 
against him, and prove the arm of the Venetians." 

These challenges resulted in the battle at Salboro, in which 
the Imperial fleet, commanded by Barbarossa's son Otto, was 
completely routed, and Otto himself, with a number of other 
princely ones, taken prisoner. No return of a Doge to Venice 
could have been more glorious. Not only the people, but the 
Pope, awaited Ziani at the palace stairs to which he came in 
a boat from his galley. The sight of the prisoners seems to 
have been for the Pontiff, as for the men of Venice, a most 
inspiring one. In the eyes of the Holy Father, Doge Ziani 
appeared as an embodiment of that commanding masculinity 
which was the soul of Venice, and which made her a compelling 
and, withal, a wooing force over means of prosperity, and 
paths to greatness. 

As part of the great service of thanksgiving in the Church 
of St. Mark, to which both Doge and Pope repaired in state, 
Alexander Hi bestowed on Sebastiani Ziani a ring of gold, 
speaking in Latin the words : — 

" By thee my sori and Duke, and by thy successors, each 
year upon Ascension Day wiU the sea be wedded with this ring 
of gold, as a man subjecting her to himself, weds a wife." 

Thus was the dropping of a ring into the sea introduced 
into the Ascensiontide ceremonies. 

The Doge, who had pity in his heart for poor prisoners, 
seems to have known how to treat the youth of Imperial race 
who remained in his hands on Rialto. It was tlurough the 
mediation of the young Prince Otto — who himself entreated to 
be allowed to go to his father upon an errand of reconcilia- 


tion, and swore to return in due time with or without the 
olive branch of peace — that Barbarossa deigned at last to 
pardon Alexander and his succourer, Sebastiano Ziani. 

A great sight it must have been on the newly paved and 
ornamented Piazza when the Einperor, who had been greeted 
at the waterside by the Doge, came to Pope Alexander, who 
stood to receive his homage at the door of the national basilica. 
Kneeling humbly, proud Barbarossa kissed the feet of the 
Bishop of the Apostohc See. And the Pontiff spared no 
whit of ceremonial to make his own triumph and the humilia- 
tion of the Emperor complete. Placing his foot on the bowed 
head before him, Alexander recited a formula which in the 
middle time of Christianity seems to have been considered 
peculiarly pontifical. 

" I will walk on the asp and the basilicon and triumph 
over Uons and dragons." Which of the four creatiu-es was 
supposed to be the symbol of Frederick) history does not 
relate. Whichever it was, the Prince objected to the foot of 
Alexander spuming him, except in a strictly official sense. 

" Not to thee, but to Peter, of whom thou art successor," 
he declared stoutly. Alexander replied haughtily, " To me 
and to Peter." 

Then, Pope in centre and Emperor and Doge on either hand, 
the three great actors in that day's drama proceeded pom- 
pously up the nave of the Church of St. Mark, the clergy 
chanting Te Deum laudamus. 

When Barbarossa's stay in the Ducal Palace came to an end, 
and the Pope also retired from Venice, heaping compliments 
and gifts on Ziani, the zeal of this Doge for beaUtif3nng the 
strongholds of Venetian dignity found a fresh channel. He 
wished td complete the demolition of San Geminiano, which 
blocked the centre of the enlarged Piazza, and to open the 
rebuilt church (then situated at the head of the square of St. 
Mark) with full papal sanction and all ducal honours. The 
work of destruction had been begun in the time of Michieli iv, 
but only now, when a sole Pope fulminated from Rome and 
that Pope was under obligations to all Venice, was the moment 
propitious to ask for a faculty for disturbing a sacred edifice. 
The ambiguity of the reply of the Pope, who must have watched 


the falling of the walls during his stay at Venice, proved his 
anxiety to be gracious to Ziani. The church being a holy place, 
the Doge was told the Pope could not permit any harm being 
done to it, but he would -pardon it. This pronouncement was 
enough for the purpose of the Doge. The ancient church was 
formally demolished and the new one thrown open with 
appropriate ceremonial. In return for absolution for this 
illegal act, Ziani promised that an annual visit to the new 
church should be one of the established pilgrimages of the 
Doge of Venice. 

Feeling the weaknesses of his age increasing, Sebastiano 
Ziani ended his short but most glorious reign by retiring to 
the monastery of Sant George the Great, where he very shortly 
afterwards died. 

The next Doge was the Orio Malipiero, who had not only 
yielded to, but who had himself put forward, the senior 
claims of Ziani. He left no impress of his personahty on the 
character and attitude of his country, although he was devout 
and reigned, so the chroniclers say, " gloriously." After 
twelve years of unwilling rule, he retired into the monastery 
of the Holy Cross in Luprio. A Doge of inspiring personality 
followed Malipiero. 

Arrigo or Enrico Dandolo was the first of the dis- 
tinguished Doges of his name ; the last of the crusading Doges 
of Venice. Like Ziani, Dandolo was already aged when 
the suffrages of the officials and the goodwill of the Venetian 
people carried him to the ducal throne. In early life he had 
received in some battle or tumult a cut on the head that had 
deprived him of his sight. In conjunction with a disposition 
of courage and a character of extreme resolution, his blindness 
imparted an awe to his presence and a dignity to his appear- 
ance that precluded pity. 

He had reigned nearly eight years and, by the maturity 
of his judgment and the youthfulness of his sympathy and 
enterprise, possessed himself entirely of the confidence of his 
people, when the news came to Venice of the proclamation 
by Pope Innocent iii of a Fifth Crusade. Following the 
news came Ambassadors from Baldwin, Count of Flanders, 
Theobald, Count of Troyes, and Louis, Count of Blois, who 


vaunted themselves greatly of the prowess and devotion of 
their masters, and the strength and the quality of the French 
armies they led, but confessed that without the Venetian 
navy and the Venetian sea-power generally, their hosts and 
the captains of them were dead arms of Christian valour and 

Gracious and business-Uke were the discourses delivered, 
first by the French orators, and then by the Doge. Dandolo 
proceeded deliberately, and took time to consult with his 
councillors. In the end he agreed to assist the crusading 
enterprise, for valuable consideration. Venice would supply 
transports, armed ships and provisions for the French troops, 
and, in addition, would, " for the love of God," dispatch a 
war-fleet of fifty galleys. Besides the money payments 
demanded for these aids, the conditions were also imposed 
that no Frenchman was to set sail from Cremona, Bologna, 
Imola or Faenza, unless by the special consent of Venice, and 
that of aU conquests and spoils of the expedition, Venice 
should receive half. Preparations having been made and 
contracts discussed, an appeal was made to a popular 
assembly. From Grado to Cavazero, aU male adults received 
a summons, and when near ten thousand of them were 
gathered in the Church of St. Mark, the Mass of the Holy 
Ghost having been sung. Doge Dandolo called upon Godfrey 
de Villehardouin, as ambassador-in-chief, to ask of the people 
humbly if the proposed agreement should take effect. 
Kneeling before the congregation, Villehardouin, in the name 
of the most high and pptent barons of France, begged the 
Venetians to take pity on Jerusalem, and to vindicate the 
honour of their Saviour, since no other nation had their 
power over the sea. Villehardouin would not rise to his 
feet till consent to his prayer was given. It came to him 
with one voice. Lifting their hands to Heaven, the Doge 
and his people shouted : " It is conceded. It is con- 

In pursuance of the contract, French lords with their 
knightly retinues and troops of fighting-men, came flocking 
in fair numbers to the islands, but a considerable proportion 
of the Crusaders, pledged through their nominal leaders to 


embark at Venice, took ships in Puglia or at Marseilles. The 
numbers bringing gain and employment to Venice were 
therefore disappointing. More disappointing still was the 
announcement of the barons that very little of their promised 
subsidy of from 30,000 to 40,000 marks would be forthcoming. 
Nobly they proceeded to surrender all articles of value in 
their possession, but the worth of all was not enough to make 
up the sum they had agreed to give. In this dilemma, however, 
the Doge saw an advantage. Disturbing news of the defection 
of Zara had come to Venice at a time when it was particularly 
unwelcome. Dandolo asked the barons to join with him in 
a punitive expedition against that city and the Hungarian 
army that succoured it. The barons thought the matter a 
purely national one. Dandolo urged that the rebel colony 
possessed its own fleet of sufficient strength to be a serious 
obstacle in the path of the allies. 

It was to abandon the whole expedition, or to accept the 
terms of the Doge, so the barons agreed to do his will, 
promising to pay their debt to the RepubHc when it pleased 
God to give the Crusaders, through effective conquest, the 
ineans of satisf5iing it. A new compact was entered into 
and made the subject of another referendum. 

Villehardouin has left us a precise description of this 
second great gathering in the Basilica of the populace and 
the majority of barons and pilgrims then in Venice. Before 
the solemn Mass was begun the venerable Doge mounted the 
pulpit and addressed his people. 

" Sirs," he said, " you are associated with the first gentle- 
men of the world, and for a more important affair than can 
ever again be undertaken. I am old and blind. I need 
repose and am feeble in my body. But I see that no one can 
govern you and lead you as well as I who am your Sire. If 
you, therefore, will consent to my taking the Cross, to guard 
you and direct you, and allow my son to be in my place in 
our own land, I will go to live and to die with you and with 
these pilgrims ! " 

It was a noble speech and a prophetic one. It went 
straight to the hearts and consciences of those addressed. 
With a great shout, the cry went up as the cry of one rapturous 


soul, " We pray you in God's name to take the Cross and be 
avenged with us." 

So stirred were the people of the place, and the pilgrims 
alike, by the pious announcement of the blind and aged man 
(it is Villehardouin who has told us this) that many tears 
were shed. But the weakness of his hearers did not make 
Dandolo waver. He was strong and had a great heart. 
Descending from the pulpit, he fell on his knees before the 
altar. Then, though not tUl then, his own tears flowed. 
But his emotion only made him stronger. He had the crucifix 
sewn upon his ducal bonnet, in order that it might be seen 
by all ; and many, very many, were the Venetians who took 
the Cross that day, fired by the example of their Doge. 

The great flotilla started at last. Dandolo was in supreme 
command, with a Venetian admiral under him and all ships 
officered by Venetians. From first to last, a period of three 
years, it was the spirit and judgment of the Doge that animated 
and controlled the expedition. 

Zara was soon subdued, at least as fax as that rebounding 
city ever was subdued. But this diversion of the Crusade 
was not at all to the liking of the Pope, who sent to Dandolo, 
at the time when, the Hungarian garrison having been expelled, 
the allies were occupying Zara, a letter severely condemning 
the conquest of that city and directing the conquerors to 
abandon all booty and take a solemn oath to repair all 
wrong done. The French barons, we are told, hastened to 
supplicate pardon, but the Doge of Venice, disregarding on 
principle all ecclesiastical intervention in affairs of state, 
went on with his plan for a complete reduction of the city. 
■WTien the barons received a further command from the Pope 
directing them not again to turn to the right or the left hand, 
but to go straight in to the Holy Land, the men of Venice 
were excommunicated. Nevertheless, the French were still 
allowed to avail themselves of Venetian transport, on con- 
dition that the two forces separated completely on reaching 

The barons professed themselves humbly submissive, yet 
the directions of the Pontiff were again to be disregarded by 
French and Venetians alike. The fleet still lay in Dalmatian 


waters, and emissaries from Rome were yet parleying with 
the Doge and barons, when there arrived at Zara a mission 
from the court of Duke Philip of Suabia, "King of the Romans," 
begging the Crusaders to re-conduct to Constantinople the 
young Prince Alexios, son of the Emperor Isaac, himself a 
usurper, who had been deposed, incarcerated and blinded by 
his brother, another Alexios. The Duchess of Suabia was Irene, 
daughter of the Emperor Isaac. Prince Alexios, therefore, was 
brother-in-law to Philip of Suabia, and it was this near 
relationship, doubtless, that provoked in the mind of the 
" King of the Romans " that vision of a reunited East and 
West under one Roman Emperor, which had already 
dazzled and led to doom so many Prankish and Norman 

The specific offer of Duke Philip was that upon the 
accession to power in Constantinople of Prince Alexios, the 
ancient unity of the Church should be restored, and a sum 
of 200,000 marks, owing from the Byzantine Court to Venice, 
paid. Furthermore, the Prince himself would either go on 
with the Crusaders to Palestine, or meet the cost of main- 
taining for one year a contingent of 10,000 men. He would 
further keep on foot, throughout his Ufe, a guard of 500 
knights for the protection of the Holy Sepulchre. 

Long discussions were the result of this proposition. The 
Crusader chiefs and the legates of the Pope met for the conclave 
at the house of Doge Dandolo, who took the position of president 
of the assembly. The legates, of course, vigorously opposed 
a further divergence of the expedition, and there were men 
of piety among the valiant ones who believed the curse of 
God must follow on direct disobedience of the Pope. Blind 
Dandolo, however, took a different view, and he was supported 
by Boniface of Montferrato, who was connected by marriage 
with the Emperor Isaac. The view of Dandolo, prompted by 
many interests of the Republic, was that no effective conquest 
of the Saracens could ever be achieved, while a Greek govern- 
ment continued to subsidize them in their campaigns against 
Christian power. Constantinople was the gate of Europe 
and must be held with a strong hand against the Turks. There 
could be no true reclamation of the holy places, until Mahom- 


medan influence had been entirely banished from both Greece 
and Egypt. There was, however, no question at the moment of 
descending on the African offenders. Only the Byzantine 
port, in the neighbourhood of which there still remained a 
considerable Venetian colony, lay in the route to the Holy 
Land ! Some of the French pilgrims objected to the last 
to the Venetian design, and left the allies at Zara, to tran- 
ship at other ports for the East. But the bulk of the army 
and the whole of the great fleet followed the lead of the Doge 
and the young Prince, who, after being welcomed affectionately 
at Zara by Dandolo and the Marquis of Montferrato, went 
on to Durazzo to receive there the homage of his lieges. He 
finally joined the expedition at Corfu. 

The fleet saUed then through the Hellespont into the Sea 
of Marmora, where a contrary wind prevented the exact making 
of a course advised by Dandolo. But, at last, his seasoned 
judgment prevailed to the bringing of the ships to anchorage 
before Scutari, where the success of a French foraging party 
of eighty men in repelling a Greek army of five hundred, was 
regarded as a happy presage of the ultimate triumph of the com- 
bined onslaught of army and fleet. The success of the Crusaders 
was indeed great in the end, and it was chiefly attributable to 
the commanding talents and sweet powers of persuasion of the 
Doge. The advices of Dandolo constantly overruled the plans 
of the French leaders, and his counsels showed him to have been, 
for the years of his life, a thoughtful student of political affairs 
and human character, and, in the time before his blindness, 
a keen observer of geographical situations and strategical 
positions. The demonstration, attacks, and visitations by 
fire and sword, which went before the final siege and occupation 
of Constantinople in April 1204, lasted eleven months. During 
this period the elder Alexios was driven from the throne, and the 
Emperor Isaac dragged forth from his dungeon and reunited 
with his consort and his son. His liberation re-established his 
court of soothsayers and magicians, which seems to have been 
the only court he cared to gather round him. It brought 
the young Alexios, however, to a position of authority, for he 
was crowned joint-Emperor with his father in the Chiirch of 
St. Sophia. As Emperor, he grew cold and distant to his erst- 


while very good friends the Doge and the barons. The 
Prince was indeed greatly embarrassed by the promises made 
in his name at Zara, which he now found it difficult to fulfil. 
His embarrassments, poor youth, did not last long. A con- 
triving and ambitious chamberlain of the re-established court 
took advantage of some popular disaffection roused by the 
rumour that Alexios meant to hand the city over to the 
Crusaders, and in collusion with the Treasurer of the Empire, 
lured the young Emperor one night into a guarded chamber 
of the Imperial palace and there had him strangled before 
his own eyes. To cover up the actual mode of death and to 
give colour to a statement to be made that he had died from 
a fall, the body of the victim was battered and slashed to a 
horrible extent. A pompous lying-in-state and a gorgeous 
burial were the only atonements made for the outrage. The 
shock of his son's murder was a death-blow to the Emperor 
Isaac, and French princes and Venetian Doge had likely been 
massacred as ruthlessly as had been these Imperial ones, if 
Enrico Dandolo had not been suspicious of a message sent in 
the name of Alexios to the Crusaders at their quarters. This 
message was one of Borgian conception, for it invited the allied 
chiefs to sup at the Palace of Blachernse with the Emperor. 
The subtle speech of the messenger had no alarms for the 
barons, and the Doge replied to the invitation with perfect 
suavity. But when the Imperial envoy had departed, Dandolo 
warned his allies of the likelihood of the proposal being a trap. 
With clarity and eloquence he enumerated all the shifts and 
treacheries they had already endured at the hands of the young 
sovereign, and showed them how important it was to ascertain 
exactly how matters stood in Constantinople before they 
proceeded there as supper-guests of His Majesty. It was 
not the Emperor who was playing them false this time, but 
Dandolo's study of the Greek character and the political con- 
dition of Constantinople served himself and his allies well. 
The apt frustration of the chamberlain's plot threw all out of 
gear at the palace, and the moment became opportune for a 
more vigorous onslaught on the city than had yet been waged. 
Indeed, it was the complete subjugation, not of Constantinople 
alone, but of the whole Greek Empire, that was now aimed 


at. There were those who still demurred at the delay in 
getting to Palestine, and those who feared that the task pro- 
posed was too great a one. But the courage and wisdom of 
Dandolo swayed the army as a whole and called forth answering 
flames of courage and far-sightedness in the breasts of the nobler 
of his colleagues. 

It was a terrible siege — that last determined and maddened 
onslaught by depleted bodies of troops convoyed from far 
cotmtries, on a citadel defended by millions of grim inhabitants. 
But discipline, faith and enthusiastic unity prevailed in the 
end against disorganization, fatalism and internecine strife. 
Through all the long and bloody attack, at least upon the seaside, 
the forces were heartened by the sight and tale of the wonder- 
ful blind greybeard, who stood on the poop of the armada's 
flagship, waving the standard of St. Mark and calling on his 
men to rally, to steer on, to work their mangonels and throw 
their missiles of destruction with more vigour and greater 
dash. Yet for all his reckless audacity under the arrows and 
projectiles of the enemy, Dandolo knew when it was prudent 
to retire and when it was for the better advancement of all 
arms, or for some forces, to go back. In the end, when the 
allied troops entered Constantinople and it became the task 
of the Latin, Norman, French and Flemish conquerors to 
elect an Emperor, it was to Enrico Dandolo that the suffrages 
of all hearts went out. For the army, as for the navy before 
Constantinople, the Doge of Venice with his sightless eyes and 
keen mental vision, his grey head and his young heart, was 
something more than a man. Upon him the Divine favour 
seemed specially to rest. Yet when the vote was formally 
taken at an assemblage of the barons, bishops and other chiefs 
of the expedition, the suffrages, from many considerations, were 
divided. The majority certainly were given to Dandolo, and 
the Doge would undoubtedly have been made the Emperor 
had it not been that one Pantaleone Barbo, a Venetian, 
speaking no doubt under ducal sanction, objected strongly 
in the name of his compatriots to the elevation of Dandolo. 
Barbo's speech is memorable, and forms a splendid epitaph to 
the genius of the great Doge. It summarizes also with point 
the sentiments and opinions of the Venetian Empire-makers 


of that time. Of course it has been paraphrased, if not extended, 
in the records. 

" Sage Electors," ^ said this patriot, " I observe a strong 
incHnation on your part to confer on our Doge the imperial 
crown, and I am disposed to join with you in thinking that, 
even among so many heroes, there is none more worthy of the 
high dignity to which you would thus raise him. Yet at the 
same time,' which may appear strange to you, I feel that 
there are several whose claim is preferable." 

At the murmur of astonishment that greeted these opening 
words, Barbo bade the " electors " hear him out. The empire 
they proposed to restore, he said, was encompassed by so 
many enemies, that a large and powerful marine was needed 
to save it from dismemberment and ruin. 

"It is no exaggeration to say," he went on, " that the 
Venetians alone are in a position to furnish that aid. Our 
Republic took Constantinople : she can protect it. 

" It will be far easier for her to send fleets from her dock- 
yards, than for the Count of Flanders or the Marquis of Mont- 
ferrato to draw armies from their estates. But in taking 
possession of the empire in her own name, our Republic would 
commit an almost suicidal act. For, leaving out of the ques- 
tion the cabals and dissensions, to which the ambition of 
reigning would infallibly lead us in the end, how should we 
provide for the danger and risk which would arise from the 
elevation of a fellow-citizen to the throne of Constantinople ? 
Master of the whole of Greece, as well as of a large portion of 
the East, clothed with the power, and swollen with the pride 
of sovereignty, will he remain subject to the laws of Venice ? 
Will he not forget his country ? Dandolo, from the loftiness of 
his spirit, and the nobleness of his heart, would, as I am well 
assured, be far above such sentiments ; but who shall answer 
for his successors ? " 

There was no reply to this piercing question, and the 
patriot-orator continued : — 

"It is amid our native lagoons that that power has gradu- 
ally risen, which now commands the respect of all Europe ; 
detached from the soil, which gave it birth, and transplanted 

1 Sentences of this speech are quoted verbatim from Hazlitt's rendering of 
it in his Venetian Republic. 


to the shores of the Bosphorus, it will decline indubitably, 
it will cease to be ours. You may tell me that Dandolo and 
his heirs will no longer in fact be Venetians, and that Venice 
will have the honour of having given masters to Greece. 
But that, T say, is a condition which Dandolo himself would 
not accept. Consider again, this election' will probably pre- 
clude you from achieving the leading object of the undertaking 
in which you are engaged. ... If you remain faithful to the 
oath which was administered to you on assuming the Cross, 
you must at once relinquish the idea of nominating our Doge 
to the vacant throne, and allow your decision to rest between 
the Count of Flanders and the Marquis Boniface. . . . Only 
let it be understood, in order that we may prevent the certain 
and deplorable effect of disunion, that whichever of the two 
is honoured by your sviffrages, shall yield to the other the 
island and dependencies of Candia, as well as all the territory 
which still belongs to the empire beyond the Bosphorus. 
By this means you will attach them to each other by the 
ties of friendship and interest ; otherwise it is to be appre- 
hended that both will be lost, and, with them, the hope of 
recovering the Holy Land." 

The matter was concluded very much in the way that Barbo 
had suggested. 

Baldwin, Coimt of Flanders, was elected Emperor, and to 
further balance matters, Tommaso Morosini, a Venetian, 
was made Patriarch of Constantinople. Upon Dandolo, as 
" Doge of Venice, Dalmatia and Croatia," were conferred the 
extra titles of " Despot and Lord of one-fourth and one- 
half OF THE Roumanian Empire," and it was ordered that 
he, as well as the Emperor Baldwin, should have his buskins 
dyed with the Imperial purple. 

The end of Enrico Dandolo was as stately £is his life. 
He died in the Imperial city almost in the very hour of the 
culmination of his dignities, and was entombed with all pomp 
and every honour in the Cathedral of St. Sophia. 


A.D. 1205 TO 1275 

IN Sebastiano Ziani the Venetians had recognized a 
much-desired man of peace, but of even more pacific 
profession was Sebastiano's son, Pietro Ziani. " War, 
we can always have if we want it ; peace, you should zealously 
seek for and keep when found," is a saying attributed to 
Pietro. It is further recorded that " no war he was engaged 
in, was due to his initiative." Men of great wealth are nearly 
always men of peace. By disposition, Pietro Ziani \i?as no 
exception to this rule. Yet he was ambitious for his country, 
and propounded some schemes which, had they been adopted, 
would have been provocative of strife. Moreover, he did not 
conduct the campaigns that were forced upon him in any 
half-hearted manner. Preparing for a fight, he displayed 
both caution and zest. Celebrating a victory, he was jubilant 
and ecstatic. Indeed, his impulses and passions gave evidence 
of a certain degeneration. The physical fitness and mental 
hardihood of the most richly endowed race he sprang from, 
seem to have reached their zenith of expression in the gracious 
personality and balanced brain of his father. The tours- 
de-force of Pietro were counterbalanced by weaknesses that 
suggest an epileptic tendency of body, or some other loosening 
of the nerves of control. 

Two or three incidents of his ducal career, some of them 
authentic, others exaggerated accounts of probable happen- 
ings, show what quality of man was Doge Pietro Ziani, and 
what manner of times he lived in. 

Mock-fights, on which Beauty's bright eyes looked down, 



were Fashion's recreation of the hour, and there was held a 
wonderful tourney at Spineto in Treviso, to which the young 
gallants of Padua and Venice resorted to compete with the 
Trevisans for the smiles of fair ladies set up — a lovely garrison 
— ^in a mock-tower. When the assailants came on, jewelled 
and silk -robed maidens leant over battlements of wood 
richly covered with precious tapestries and fantastic orna- 
ments. As the humour took them, these maidens gave 
looks of encouragement or words of repulse to the besiegers 
who bombarded them with flowers, perfumes, fruits and 
herbs, and were with the same missiles pelted back. A 
subtlety, if not a cynicism of the Venetian attack, was the 
inclusion of money in their ammunition. The Venetians won 
the day, but their victory was a signal for the breaking forth 
of hardly stemmed Trevisan jealousy against the buccaneers 
from the sovereign isles. 

The assumption that the favour of Trevisan ladies was 
purchasable, made the knights of the ravaged mainland all 
fury. The swordsmen who had assembled in friendly rivalry, 
took to battling with one another in fierce earnest. The 
Venetians were given no opportunity of triumph. As they 
rushed to enter the capitulated fort, the Paduans sprang 
forward and seized the Standard of St. Mark before it could 
be planted on the walls. 

A truce was called at last, and the competitors were re- 
minded of the fact that it was only in mock contest they 
were met. But passions were roused, and a more fitting cause 
for serious quarrel remained in the existence between Chioggia 
and Adria, of a Tower, called delle Bebbe, that had been buUt 
by the Venetians as a protection against freebooters, for peace- 
ful travellers to and from their islands. The Paduans had 
long looked upon this Tower, so near their borders, as a menace 
of their safety. They now sent to the Doge the message that 
if he did not puU it down they would come themselves to 
demolish it. 

The ducal answer was wordless but determined. First a 
party of sailors from Venice brought the ropes and cordage 
they were well used to manipulate, and enveloped the fortress 
so completely in a net that no stone or other projectile could get 


contact with the walls. Then came the Chioggians — engineers 
these — who dug a fosse round the Tower and filled it with water. 
At last arrived the Doge, who examined the defences and 
consulted with his captains. Well satisfied with his sailors'" 
and the Chioggians' work, Ziani returned to Venice, leaving 
disposed about the Tower a considerable force, principally- 
composed of local stalwarts who, not waiting to be attacked, 
devastated the Paduan fields that lay adjacent, and in one way 
and another effectually protected the Tower, which itself stood 
for the permanent protection of the high roads. 

"Very glad indeed" were those Paduans, so an old 
chronicler affirmed, " whom the Venetians deigned to take 
prisoners, because otherwise they would have been drowned 
in the moat." The only Paduans who escaped seem to have 
been the fortunate ones, of some rank, who were saved by the 
fleetness of their horses. So great was the discomfiture of 
the enemies of " Monsignor the Doge" ! 

A runner who brought to Venice the news of the rout of 
the Paduans, was received by 2iani with the utmost demonstra- 
tion of delight. Round the fleet-foot's shoulders the Doge 
threw his own rich mantle, and, putting his hand in his pocket, 
gave the breathless messenger more silver pieces than he 
could have earned in half a year. As a reward for their 
efficient contribution to this victory, the Chioggians were 
relieved from an annual tribute previously paid to the Doge, 
of three fowls from each family. The conflict ended with the 
making — through the mediation of the Patriarch of AquUeia 
— of a five years' truce between the Paduans, Trevisans and 

The particular assistance of Chioggia in this affair of the 

Tower of Bebbe may have been given because the Podesta 

Giacomo Baseio — who led the troop which came so timely, was 
a relation of 2iani by marriage ; probably the Dogaressa's 
brother. In any case, neither ducal coronation - vows nor 
Venetian statutes could suppress all natural aids of family 
ffectio n, and Pietro Ziani had in "la bella Maria" (Baseio), 
daughter of a Procurator of St. Mark, a much-loved wife, by 
whom he had a son — Giorgio. It is not an unbelievable legend 
that the shock of the death of this boy, who was attacked and 


mangled by the dogs of the monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore, 
brought on one of those terrible rages which show Pietro 
Ziani to have been lacking in control. In revenge for the 
grievous accident, the Doge ordered the San Giorgio to be 
burned to the ground with all the dogs and monks in it. The 
monastery was destroyed, and no doubt the dogs too, but as 
after the rebuilding, also ordered by this Doge, the brothers 
returned to their own, and as at no period was any particular 
inquiry made by either ecclesiastical or lay authorities, the 
monks must have at least escaped with their lives at the time 
of the fire. It is, however, quite consistent with the epileptic 
inconsistency of Ziani's character, that he had at the time a 
murderous intention. 

In the year 1216, when he was already old, but still molio 
vivo, he married for his second wife, Costanza, daughter of 
Tancred, King of Sicily. " Queen by birth, Dogaressa of 
Venice by marriage, she seemed more to appreciate the 
kingdom of Venice with the title of Princess, than the Duchy 
of Calabria with the title of Queen. She was brave and 
beautiful, and, unlike most women, was not jealous." 

This praise of an old chronicler gives a little insight into 
the character of King Tancred's daughter, though it does not 
tell us much of her relations with the Doge. That she was 
not jealous, may imply that Ziani gave her cause to be, but 
we have no other hint that he failed in the devotion 
due to her. By his wiU he appointed her, with the Abbot of 
San Giorgio Maggiore, trustee of his estate. He seems also to 
have bequeathed to her special powers of government over 
their three children. Costanza was young and he mature of 
years, and it was supposed that he had made his second marriage 
with the prime object of providing himself with an heir ; but 
report accredited her with a passive, if not an active, influence 
over him, and with being the cause of his sudden turning from 
the strict Venetian policy propounded in the address of Barbo 
to the " Sage Electors " at Constantinople. 

It has recently been doubted that Ziani ever made the 

suggestion to transfer the seat of government from the lagoons 

to the Bosphorus. But the doubt would seem to spring only 

frpm the amiable assumption that a Doge of Venice could not 



have been so unpatriotic. It is certain, however, that the 
husband of Costanza gained the repute of making a proposi- 
tion of which the avowed motive was the obtaining of a broader 
dominion and a wider trade for his country; and if he did 
make it, it must be believed that a poUcy calculated further to 
undermine Greek influence in Constantinople, and to create 
for the Norman ruler of the Two Sicilies some vital interests 
in the Byzantine capital, was too much in the interests of 
Ziarii's relatives by marriage not to have been inspired by 
his Dogaressa. Some later circumstances of his reign were 
also conducive to the reputed change in his policy. The 
Doge may very well have been depressed by revolting out- 
breaks in the Venetian colonies, particularly in Crete, and 
by the destruction, through an earthquake, of the monastery 
he had lately rebuilt. We know that he took extreme and 
exaggerated views of natural and political . occurrences. A 
letter received in 1219 from his Viceroy in Constantinople — 
GiACOMO TiEPOLo, a Doge to be — could only have deepened 
his anxieties. In this letter the anarchical state of affairs 
generally, both in the Eastern capital and the Archipelagiac 
dependencies, and the difificulties of reconciling with Imperial 
jurisdiction the temporal power arrogated, in view of certain 
ecclesiastical possessions, by the Roman Patriarch, were 
described with eloquence. The Emperor Peter (Courtenay) 
had lately died in captivity in Epirus. It was the time of 
the regency of his widow, Yolande, sister of the second Latin- 
Frankish Emperor Henry, who had herself been hailed the 
Empress but for the Salic law. The weakness of the Imperial 
authority and the strength of the Viceroy's influence made 
the moment propitious for the extension of Venetian power 
in Constantinople. 

The record that stands of Ziani's speech cannot of course 
be verbally exact, but even the modern critics who reject 
it altogether show no good reason why it should be doubted 
as a report of the substance and impression of some words 
spoken on the subject before the Great Council by this Doge. 
In his accredited address, Ziani emphasized the value of 
Venetian settlements in the Levant and Corfu, and appraised 
the size and natural advantages of Crete. Then, after depicting 



the principal islands of the Archipelago as subject, or longing 
to be subject, to Venetian dominion, he said that only in the 
proud and populous city built on the shores of two seas could 
the utmost security be obtained and easy communications 
with the colonies set up. Further — so it is stated — ^he pro- 
fessed himself sure that countries that were now constantly 
rebelling against a Uttle capital hidden away at the bottom 
of the GuK of Adria, would obey without a murmur the same 
capital set in a position to dominate the trade and political 
relationships of all Europe and Asia ! 

"It is my desire that you may be able to repulse your 
neighbours and to keep your subjects under proper control," 
is the quoted pronouncement of the Doge. " It is my desire 
that you may aggrandize and enrich yourselves. But how can 
you enjoy the fruit of your prosperity in these morasses, 
where you are destitute of all the necessaries of life ; where, 
at the ebb of the tide, the air is impregnated with poisonous 
vapours ; where these same waters threaten you in their 
rising, with floods ? ... It is in vain that you endeavour to 
settle on a shifting sand; the earthquakes which visit you 
periodically overturn your habitations. You have estab- 
lished yourselves on a soil against which all the elements seem 
to conspire ; surely such a soil can never form the seat of a 
powerful empire. It is now in your power to exchange these 
arid shores, this tempestuous sea, these pestiferous swamps, 
for the finest and most enchanting site in the universe, where 
you can easily keep at a distance the Pisans and the Genoese, 
where you may hold sway over the islands of the Archipelago, 
over the whole of Greece, and over the coasts of Asia, and 
where you may command, against aU rivals, the commerce 
of the world." 

The silence of a profound astonishment greeted this 
peroration, but scarcely had the Doge descended from the 
tribunal than httle puffs of a storm to come blew here and 
there throughout the assembly. Many dissentient murmurs 
broke forth in aU parts of the chamber, but there were those 
whom Ziani's raptures had persuaded, and discussion became 
fierce and agitated. Eventually, silence was again procured ; 
this time for an aged ex-Proctirator of St. Mark, whose 
address is recorded in the following words of eloquence : — 

" Whatever repugnance I may naturally feel," said Angelo 


Faliero, " to contradict the views of the Prince to whom I 
owe obedience and respect, I do so on the present occasion 
with less diffidence, inasmuch as I feel that I am about to 
plead before you the cause of my country. I should account 
myself indeed guilty of ingratitude toward that native land 
where my progenitors have always been held in honour, 
and where I myself have been bred, educated and raised to 
high trusts, if I now consented to abandon her and to go in 
search of other advantages which are reported to be awaiting 
us in a distant and foreign country. And what is the value 
of these advantages, in reality ? A purer air, a more pleasing 
site, a more fertile soil, a more extensive commerce ; it is 
said an ampler dominion. Ah ! when the inhabitants of 
Padua first sought an asylum in the lagoons, they were only 
too thankful that these shores were barren, uncultivated, 
deserted ; that they were in the midst of the waters. If they 
had been rich, fertile and populous, our forefathers would 
not have found there a secure shelter; our Republic, our 
country would not now exist. We shotdd be, on the contrary, 
the subjects of one of the petty princes of Italy ; nor should 
we be now considering whether it is expedient to forsake our 
Common Mother, that we may seek a new Empire in the 
East. Did our ancestors think of quitting their lagoons when 
they found that they no longer needed their protection ? No. 
In grateful recollection of the benefits which they had received 
from them, they naturalized themselves on these shores ; 
and during 800 years have they not laboured incessantly 
to fortify themselves against their enemies and against the 
elements ? They have built here sumptuous edifices ; they 
have collected all the necessaries of life in this spot ; they have 
erected temples, and those temples they have decorated with 
the trophies of their victories. We reproach our native land 
with its insalubrity; yet — blind that we are — we forget that 
the most terrible diseases and epidemics come from the 
East, whither, it is suggested, we should go. We complain 
of the sterility of our soil, as if anything were wanting to our 
necessities, to our caprices ! As if the waters by which we 
are surrounded did not afford us abundance of nourishment 
and " an unfailing source of industry and wealth ! They 
speak of earthquakes. What country is more exposed to 
them than Constantinople ? They speak to us of safety and 
of riches. Is it not here that you have found your safety ; 
is it not here that you acquire those riches that now make 
you ambitious ? They speak also of Colonies. And from 
whom, I inquire, have you taken the greater part of those 
which you possess now ? Did you not take them from that 


power to which they were said inaUenably to belong? Our 
Greek colonies are important, undoubtedly, but are they the 
only dependencies of the Republic which she has to preserve ? 
Have Istria and Dalmatia lost all value in your eyes ? " 

The venerable Faliero then proceeded to analyse even 
more astutely the Doge's scheme, and to forecast its outcome 
in a manner at once just and imaginative. 

" One of two things," he said. " Either you must go to the 
East in the character of conquerors, and then your political 
projects will be subordinate to the course of events ; 6r you 
must go there simply with the intention of settling peaceably 
in one of the quarters of Constantinople. But how can we 
conceive it possible that two independent governments should 
exist within the precincts of a single city ? " 

The speeches of both Doge and ex-Procurator greatly 
moved the assembly, and, when the vote was taken, it was found 
to be equally balanced. The Vote of Providence, which was a 
casting vote and not, as its name seems to imply, a lot drawn, 
had then to decide between the parties. We are not told who 
cast the vote, but by it Venice was saved from the consequences 
of a rash ambition. 

When Pietro Ziani made his remarkable proposition, he 
was already in ill-health and had for some time neglected 
to take his part in public affairs, leaving the Privy Council^ 
to perform the ducal functions. This inactivity betokens 
considerable mental failure in a man who had manifested 
much intellectual power in the earlier years of his life. So 
strong had been his memory and so clear his grasp, that it 
had been his practice to listen to a number of ambassadors and 
other spokesmen of deputations one after the other ; hearing 
them all with closed eyes in a lolling attitude and an apparent 
condition of somnolent indifference. Then at the conclusion 
of the series of orations he would suddenly recover himself 
and answer each address in the order of its presentation. On 
one occasion he made good replies in this fashion to no less than 
twenty-two envoys. 

But now had occurred a flaming aftermath of his extra- 
ordinary psychic qualities, and his last effort to be sunlike had 


quite exhausted him. Four-and-twenty years a Doge, he 
became again a private gentleman. Accounts differ as to his 
place of death. Some give his old home and estate at Santa 
Giustina as the spot. He certainly spent some of the latter days 
of his life there. Others afi&rm that he went into retreat at 
the monastery — again rebuilt — of San Giorgio Maggiore. It 
seems likely that during the years of his quasi-retirement he 
lived much at Santa Giustina, but that when the end ap- 
proached more nearly and he finally resigned even the name 
of Doge, he entered the Benedictine monastery. 

For aU his originalities and eccentricities, Ziani seems never 
to have attempted in any way to override the constitution, 
and in his dying hours showed himself a stickler for legality 
and etiquette. He refused to receive his successor, Giacomo 
TiEPOLO, who came to pay him a complimentary visit either at 
Santa Giustina or San Giorgio, because Tiepolo's election as 
Doge had been finally decided by the drawing of a lot. The 
forty electors had been equally divided in favour of two 
candidates. To prevent a recurrence of this disaster, the 
" Forty " were then made " Forty-One." 

Giacomo Tiepolo had been in his time Governor of Candia 
and, as we have seen. Consul at Constantinople. He was already, 
therefore, more than half a Doge when elected to the ducal 
chair by the bare majority of the fatal one. Although the Pro- 
missione, or oath of promise, subscribed by him upon his election, 
was a model declaration, and so much more advanced in re- 
straints and limitations of the ducal authority than the earliest 
one preserved — that of Enrico Dandolo — that it served as 
the draft for all subsequent Promissioni, there were yet many 
ambitions of his to be reprehended and prerogatives of his 
to be shorn, when, twenty-one years later, it became the 
turn of another to take the ducal oath. The censuring of 
these ambitions — all most natural and human ones — and the 
deprivation of these prerogatives were provided for, even 
before Giacomo Tiepolo began his reign, by the establishment 
of two fresh boards of scrutineers, called respectively the Cor- 
rettori delta Promissione Ducale and the Inquisitori sul Doge 
Defunto. The reports of these commissioners, so far as they 
have been preserved, give many enlightening hints concerning 


the special dispositions of the Doges whose careers they re- 
flected on. Hints are derivable also from the Promissioni 
of the Doges themselves. In nearly all cases the new 
features in them tell of some weaknesses in the recently defunct. 
The oath of the first Tiepolo to attain to ducal rank, contained 
the promises not to send any letters or legations to foreign 
princes without the approval of the Council, and not to accept 
any gifts from any persons whatsoever, except offerings of 
rose-water, foliage, flowers, herbs or balsams. His Dogaressa 
also was bound to refuse presents ; the only exceptions to 
this rule for both, being gifts on occasions of marriage either 
of the Doge himself or of members of his family. These pro- 
mises were undoubtedly kept by Tiepolo, by Maria (Sterlato) 
the wife of his youth, and Gualdrada (sister of King Roger of 
Sicily, and of Costanza, Dogaressa of Pietro Ziani) the consort 
of his later years. When, however, the joint state of Giacomo 
Tiepolo and his royal spouse came to an end in 1249, we learn 
from the oath exacted from his successor, Marino Morosini, 
that he had offended against republican principle by appoint- 
ing sons of his to high state offices. Pietro had been made 
Podesta of Milan, and Giovanni created Count of Ossero after 
having exercised the offices of a Captain-General in the re- 
conquest of Zara. Giovanni, furthermore, had been an Am- 
bassador. Lorenzo, who became subsequently a Doge himself, 
was also a Captain-General in his father's time and the holder 
of the fief of Veglia. 

AH three sons seem to have executed their trusts with 
fidelity. Certainly all three were good fighting-men and 
warred gallantly for their country. But some results, which 
in a political sense had to be regarded by certain parties 
in the state as evils, arose from the appointment of Pietro. 

Venice had, on occasions, shown a natural sympathy with 
the aims of the Lombard League, but the Republic had never 
proclaimed itself definitely Guelph. True to the commercial 
spirit of its people, the Government had treated with Ghibelline 
and Guelph alike, so long as some definite advantage, mer- 
cantile, social or poUtical, was to be obtained from either. 
It was no wonder, therefore, that the young Emperor, Fred- 
erick II, grandson of the famous Barbarossa, and heir of 


much of the talent, virtue and pride of his grandsire, when 
he made his first visit of importance to Italy after his accession, 
should go to Venice and endeavour by his arts of graciousness 
to win the Doge to a lasting friendship. 

Received with the hospitality and deference that Venetian 
Dukes had ever shown to German Emperors, Frederick 
inspected all the buildings of importance, informed him- 
self concerning the institutions of the country, and watched 
the life of the island people. Everj^thing he saw was pleasing 
to him, he declared, but the features he most esteemed were 
the confidence and unity which permeated the whole city, 
from the greatest to the least of the citizens. Especially 
were these characteristics admirable in times when the rest 
of Italy was distracted by factions ; by wars between cities and 
cities, and of citizens against citizens, which consumed forces 
that might have been utihzed in building up the greatness of 
the nation. If all this Imperial homage to free Venice did 
not give Frederick the right to expect some loyalty to him, 
and some friendship to his power in his future endeavours 
to subject the turbulent states of the mainland to a supreme 
authority — his own — at least his concessions of privileges to 
Venetian residents and traders in the northern parts of his 
domains and in Sicily, might have been supposed to win their 
fealty. Yet the compliments of the Doge were little more 
than compliments. Far from giving battle to resisters of 
Frederick's power, the Venetians, very shortly after his visit, 
became, with the Genoese, bankers to the Lombard League. 
Attempts at reconciliation with these wealthy maritime 
states, made by Frederick with the Pope as an intermediary 
— a none too fair-minded one — ^whoUy failed. 

War broke out again in earnest, and the figure of Eccehno 
da Romano — he of the " hungry cheek " Browning sings of in 
Sordello — throws a dark shadow on the scene of Venetian Ufe ; 
even lays a chill hand of sorrow on the heart of Giacomo Tiepolo. 

One of the first of the towns, if not the first, to resist the 
arms of Frederick and his lieutenant Eccelino successfully, 
was Treviso, which did brave defence under Pietro Tiepolo, 
the Doge's eldest son. Pietro was then Podesta of Treviso, 
but on his quickly following appointment to the same office 


in the more important city of Milan, Treviso jdelded to the 
power of Frederick, which looks much as if the independence 
of the Trevisans had been imposed upon them with their 
Venetian Podesta. At Milan, Pietro showed himself un- 
questionably bold and brave. When Eccelino was known 
to be approaching, Pietro led out his forces to a position of 
vantage amid reeds and rushes, where they could contend 
with the Emperor the passage of the river Oglio, but could 
not be themselves attacked. 

On the other hand, the Venetian Podesta had his Milanese 
troops in a situation which they could not easily abandon 
for a return to Milan. 

It was Pietro's intention to prolong the war, and to conquer 
by force of time. But in Frederick 11. the Podesta had met 
his master in tactics and ruse. Feigning to abandon the 
conflict on account of the approach of winter, the Emperor 
drew off his army. The Milanese then moved to return to 
their homes, but there rushed upon them from the woods of 
the valley, indeed from every hole and corner of the vicinity, 
the hordes of the enemy. Nothing daunted, Pietro and his 
men gave stout battle on the plain of Corte Nuova. So 
valorous was their attack that the Imperial advance-guard 
of Saracen mercenaries began to 3deld. But the Emperor 
himself, with his son Henry, and with Eccelino and a great 
host of nobles and knights of Lombardy, rode down on 
Tiepolo's force and put it at last to ignominious flight. The 
slaughter was considerable ; considerable also was the number 
of prisoners. Among those led captive was Pietro, son of 
the Doge. 

But this victim of distinction could not appease the wrath 
of Frederick, maddened as he was by the Venetian support 
of the resistance of Treviso and Padua. Very soon the tyrant 
Eccelino was marching an army on Venice. He penetrated 
to the very banks of the lagoon, devastating the country as 
he went ; then withdrew, only to order the execution of Pietro 
Tiepolo. There are two accounts of the mode of this prince- 
ling's death. One is that he was beheaded with barbarous 
cruelty; another, that he was hanged on a tower in Trani, 
over the seashore, in sight of a Venetian fleet. 


This affront to the Venetians was the chief cause of their 
leaguing with the enemies of Frederick — Rome and the Guelph 
party. On his part, the Emperor stirred up Dalmatia against 
Venice, and urged Pola and Zara to revolt. Meanwhile Venice 
joined with Mantua, Bologna, and other cities in laying 
siege to the GhibeUine town of Ferrara, held by its governor, 
ToreUi Salinguerra. At first the siege appeared to be easy, 
but when weeks and months dragged on, and naval re- 
inforcements were called for, the Doge pressed upon the Senate 
the need of bringing the siege to an end. Recalling the 
excellent and worthy example of hisTprincely predecessors, 
who had ever done their utmost to uphold and exalt the 
dignity of the Venetian name, he announced his intention 
of proceeding himself with the fleet to Ferrara, and of 
assuming there the command of all forces. 

Contrary to the law against association of sons in the 
ducal administration, Tiepolo appointed his son Giovanni 
Vice-Doge in his own absence. The time of national need 
and of national mourning for the murdered Pietro was not 
a time when this natural action of a father could be con- 
demned as vmconstitutional. 

Doge Tiepolo before Ferrara was valorous and astute, yet 
it was the hunger of the garrison within, rather than the 
prowess of the besiegers without, that conquered the city at 

Italian strategy, to call it by no harder name, had much 
to do with the capture of the aged Salinguerra, himself a 
strategist of no mean order, since he had defended the town 
as much by flooding its landside suburb as by raising fortifica- 
tions and using arms. Through the machinations of the 
Bishop of Ferrara, Salinguerra was persuaded under promise 
of safe conduct to pay a visit to the enemy's camp, there 
to do homage to the Pope's legate, whom he honoured in a 
religious sense, though he fought against him for temporal 
advantages. Keeping to the letter of their promise, the 
leaders of the allies brought the Ferrarese chief back to his 
palace and sat down with him to a banquet of his giving. 
Then by a gross violation of honour and hospitality, Travessera 
of Ravenna made a bitter speech of attack, to which Salinguerra 


was hardly allowed to reply, his numerous guests seizing 
him and dragging him off to the ship of state of the Venetian 

Once captive, Salinguerra was treated with far greater 
humanity than had been Pietro Tiepolo in the Emperor's 
power. He lived for over three years, on parole, in Casa 
Bosio at San Tonia, and dying there was buried with honours 
in a vault in San Nicolo del Lido, where part of his tomb with 
its inscription may be seen to this day. 

On the return of his father from Ferrara, Giovanni relin- 
quished his ducal office and sailed with a fleet against 
Termoli, which place, with other seaports in Apuglia, he took 
for Venice and the Pope. A little later, he bore a part in the 
reconquest of Zara. This city had already been retaken in 
1242 by a fleet commanded by Reniero Zeno, a Doge to be. 
Michele Morosini had been appointed Count and Governor 
of the city. But Morosini had a hard task to keep Zara 
subject, and was forced to call upon the islands of Arbe, 
Cherso and VegUa to help him. As a further aid, Venice 
sent colonists from the lagoons to settle on the confiscated 
lands of the Zaratine rebels. In 1244 the making of a treaty 
with Hungary caused matters to settle down and to strengthen 
the position of the RepubUc. Giovanni was made Count of 
Ossero, and his brother Lorenzo, Count of Veglia. It would 
seem to be about this time also that Lorenzo, another Doge 
of the future, took his second wife, Marchesina, daughter of 
Bohemund de Brienne, King of Rascia and Servia, and niece 
of the Latin Emperor of the East. 

The story of Tiepolo i and his sons, which story caused 
definite modifications of the privileges of all subsequent Doges, 
is a tale of ambition, action and slaughter. Tiepolo himself 
appears in it as an enthusiastic upholder of his family greatness 
and a determined conqueror of his country's enemies. Yet 
it is as compiler and reviser of Venetian statutes, and as 
builder and endower of Venetian churches, that Giacomo 
Tiepolo has now to be remembered. He was assuredly one of 
the great Doges. Bold and resolute in government, loyal and 
devoted in diplomacy and warfare, and withal a man of intellect, 
ideals, justice and piety, Tiepolo i, by his legislative deeds, 


Imperial spirit and charitable benefactions, prepared a reign 
of peace and prosperity for his immediate successor, Marino 
MoROSiNi. Like Pietro Ziani, he retired from the cares of 
office before death finally released him from them. From 
his ducal sojourn of twenty-one years in the Palace on Rialto, 
he went to his house, at San Agostino in the Ward of San 
Polo, to die. He chose as his place of burial a church to 
be designated San Giovanni e San Paolo, which he directed 
his brother to build on a piece of marshy land that touched 
on the parishes of Santa Maria Fornosa and Santa Martina. 
The saints to whom the Doge's fane was dedicated were not 
the Apostles John and Paul, but two obscure Christian soldiers 
whose names appertained in Rome to the church where the 
band of Dominicans who came to Venice soon after St. 
Dominic's death in 1221, had first been established. It was 
a sign of the mingled enlightenment and superstition of Doge 
Giacomo Tiepolo and the age he lived in, that it was a 
dear design of his later days to establish the Friars-Preachers 
— who were at once the Revivalist and the New-Thought 
Christians of his age — in a permanent abode in Venice, and 
that he was led to designate an Amplum terrcB specium aqua 
superlabente close to Santa Maria Fornosa, as the site for their 
convent, through a vision he had of " the little oratory of 
San Daniele full of flowers, and white doves with golden 
crosses on their heads, flying to it, while two angels with 
thuribles incensed the area and a voice proclaimed, ' Here 
is the place I have chosen for my preachers.' " 

On the sarcophagus erected in the fourteenth century for 
the reception of the remains of this Doge and his son-successor 
Lorenzo Tiepolo, there is a carving of birds flying and of angels 
swinging censers, that recalls this vision. 

After the three years' reign of Marino Morosini — a quiet 
worthy with an honourable name — there came to the throne 
another Doge of personalty and capacity, Re^niero Zend — 
the Admiral-Conqueror of Zara. 

Great pomp and many festivities were observed on the 
day of Zeno's coronation — in February 1252 — and a comparison 
of the ceremonial and manner of his enthronement with 
the demonstration that attended the elevation of Domenico 


Selvo in 1071, teaches much concernmg the development of 
Venice and the growth of the ducal grandeur in the nearly 
two hundred intervening years. 

Instead of the haphazard train of fragile craft that 
followed the little boat in which Selvo, removing his boots 
as he went, sailed from the Lido to the Piazzetta landing, 
twelve chosen patricians, richly apparelled, were sent in 
the ducal barge of state with an escort of a fleet of warships, 
to meet Zeno at the entrance to the lagoons. The Doge-elect 
approached from Termo, near Ancona, where he had been 
Podesta. Instead of the impromptu lauds and chants of the 
lagoon oarsmen, and in place of the instinctive prostration of 
the Doge before the Altar of St. Mark, and of the short oath of 
loyalty to the Republic, taken afterwards in the Ducal Palace, 
there were ceremonies of crowning, a long and elaborate 
Promissione, and processions through the garlanded streets, 
beneath banners richly emblazoned with family arms. Most 
of all significant, there was a tournament on the Piazza, 
" La plus bele place qui soil en tot U monde," as Da Canale, who 
was not of Venetian birth, described it at the time. 

To this tournament flocked the knights and other 
chivalrous from Istria, Friuli, Treviso and many parts of 
Lombardy. Yet the pahn of the jousts went to a Venetian, 
young Marco Ziani (son of the former Doge Pietro), whose 
wife was a daughter of the Marquis d'Este. 

The Promissione of Reniero Zeno was the first to bind a 
Dogaressa not to seek any official appointment or particular 
rank on behalf of anybody, and not to send messages to the 
Doge or his Council to the hurt or profit of anybody. The 
Correttori and Inquisitori were getting into the swing of their 
work and trying to provide for dangers ahead, guided by the 
light of events in the past. The Dogaressa Zeno (Loicia da 
Prata) proved to be more charitable than censorious or political. 
She rebuilt the hospital founded by Orseolo i. The days of 
Reniero Zeno were, however, days of fighting, and the great 
expenses consequent on the war policies of his reign were 
causes of the bread-riots which made his later years of office 
stormy. The wars of Zeno seem to have been mostly for the 
keeping open of Venetian trade-routes to the East, and, in 


particular, for the subdual on the high seas and at Acre and 
Trapani of the rival maritime power of Genoa. 

At Acre, it was by the admirable command and dash of 
Lorenzo Tiepolo, who forced the bar, wrought havoc among 
the Genoese ships in harbour, and landed his troops before it 
was known that he had even arrived in Syrian waters, that 
the Venetians scored a certain success. Within two years 
the same Tiepolo again encountered the Genoese near Acre, and 
there, on the eve of battle, spoke to his men words of incite- 
ment and command that are a revelation of the fire of his 
spirit and an evidence of the admirable relations existing 
between himself and his soldiers. 

Calling upon them to remember that upon the next day's 
encounter the honour of Venice and the security of her seas 
depended, he charged them not to be frightened by the superior 
numbers of the Genoese, since it was from a sense of weakness 
that the enemy had beaten up such numerous reinforcements 
from various parts. He and his men had been victorious 
before over the same enemy in the same place. They would 
conquer again, if order and discipline were strictly observed. 
A shout went up at the conclusion of this brave harangue. 
Vivo San Marco prottetore del Veneto Dominio J The battle 
next day, so Romanin tells us, was " bloody, long and 
obstinate." Both parties performed prodigies of valour. The 
victory was for a long time undecided. At last it was gained 
by the Venetians. 

The battle of Trapani, a yet more desperate and decisive 
engagement, was fought and won off the coast of Sicily, its 
hero-commander on the Venetian side being Jacopo Dandolo, 
a member of a family at great odds with the house of Tiepolo. 

Despite the naval activities of Lorenzo Tiepolo, the reign of 
Reniero Zeno was marked more by the quantity of advantageous 
treaties signed in it, than by the number of armed victories 
gained. And this, notwithstanding the revolution at Constanti- 
nople, had greatly offended Venetian dignity and deprived the 
Doge of Venice of many high-sounding titles . Zeno had not lacked 
advisers who believed that the moment was at last opportvme 
for the annexation of the Greek Empire by the Island Republic. 
There were those in the councils and in the streets of Venice 



even after the result of the battle of Trapani, had disaffected 
Paleologos towards the Genoese, and made him send a mission 
of friendship to the Venetians — ^who wished to see either the 
restoration of Baldwin ii by the force of Venetian arms, or the 
taking of Constantinople for a seat of government by the 
Doge. In the end, however, the rule of discretion triumphed, 
and there are no indications in history that Zeno did not 
approve the truce and treaty he entered into with Paleologos 
after three years of negotiations. 

The most that can be said in proof of warlike dispositions in 
Zeno is, that he allowed vigorous action to be taken when the 
trade of Venice and the security of Venetian possessions were 
threatened. It was not by his advice that the Bosphorus 
squadron was drawn off for a time from its guard of Constanti- 
nople, and sent to invest Daphnusia on the coast of Thrace. 
The Constil Marco Gradenigo seems to have been the man 
responsible for that short-sighted move ; one which, in the 
opinion of many, was chief contribution, if not sole cause, 
of the Revolution, since Paleologos had not had the temerity 
to march on Constantinople, if thirty galleys of war flying the 
Standard of St. Mark had stood sentinels of Venetian interests 
in the Grecian capital. 

Yet the increase of treaties did not provide for the Republic 
all the funds that were required for its government and defence. 
The battle of Trapani had greatly drained the Exchequer. 

Many methods of extending the Ducal Excise were thought 
of. The final decision of the Doge and his Government to raise 
the duty on com was most unpopular. From every part of 
the Dogado came protests. Violent meetings were held on 
the Piazza, and the palace was menaced by a mob. The Doge's 
attempts to parley and to make promises for the future were 
met by ridicule. It was a lean time in Venice, and a populace 
maddened by hunger is always ungovernable. His well- 
ordered life and just administration could not help Zeno now. 
He had not the true princely power of calming and inspiring 
multitudes. He felt that, above all things, order must be 
preserved, and sent for troops to put down the riot. The howls 
of execration against the Doge and his policy, against war 
and the war-taxes, were silenced at last. Force did the imme- 


diate business. Withdrawal of the tax pacified all minds in the 
end. But, as the popular temper subsided, family furies broke 
out. The quarrel was between the Tiepoli and the Dandoli. 
Encounters between bearers of these names and their followers 
became frequent. The climax of the feud was reached on the 
day that Giovanni Dandolo and his brother overtook Lorenzo 
Tiepolo in a street and gave him a dangerous wound. When 
the Government intervened it was for the punishment of the 
Dandoli, who were fined and forbidden any longer to hang their 
escutcheons before their houses. 

'J^hese things happened in the latter time of Doge Zeno, 
who had had his days of prosperity and glory. Many had 
been the ffetes over which he presided, for he ascended the 
throne in a time when regattas and tournaments had become 
frequent, and the festival ceremonies of Easter and Christmas, 
of the Pig-Hunt and the Wedding of the Adriatic, had been 
greatly elaborated. As pompous and as picturesque, perhaps 
even as diverting to the multitude, as any of the feasts of the 
year 1268, was the funeral of Reniero Zeno. 

Enveloped in a mantle of cloth of gold, and with the buckler, 
spurs, and helm of knighthood fastened on, he was conveyed 
to his last resting-place — a vault in the Church of SS. Giovanni 
e Paolo. A procession of clergy of every grade, of coun- 
cillors, judges and representatives of all classes of the com- 
munity, followed his bier. It was as if the population re- 
gretted its hsisty judgment of their Doge at the time of the 
corn-tax, and wished to make it known that all extravagances 
of his war-poHcy — ^if extravagances there had been — ^were 

The processions and pageants that celebrated the crowning 
of Lorenzo Tiepolo reflected and personified the social de- 
velopment and the artistic and industrial life of the Venetians 
of the late thirteenth century in a still more striking manner 
than had the fetes of the enthroning of his predecessor. Yet 
with all the elaboration- of etiquette and ceremonial, popular 
feeling was also informally expressed, and it was to be seen that 
the gallant Captain-General was the nomination of the crowd 
as well as of the Forty-One. There was long revision of the 
Promissione, and much scrutiny of the actions of Doges defunct 


and prospective, before the election was announced. During 
the wait, as well as afterwards, the people ran about the streets 
calling out Lorenzo Ti^olo e fatto Doxe ! When the bells in 
the Campanile at last called to the coronation service, the 
multitude in its enthusiasm flocked about the new Doge and 
tore his clothes from his back. A curious way of demonstrat- 
ing satisfaction, but one that had significance ! The removal 
of the shoes of the Doge-elect, about to enter the Church of St. 
Mark for his consecration, had been customary from earliest 
times, and was, of course, a survival in the Christian, of Hebraic 
ritual. The stripping off of garments — doubtless only the cap 
and cloak of the ordinary patrician, to be exchanged at this time 
for the ducal biretta and mantle — ^was an act due to the instinct 
in the vulgar for appropriation of souvenirs. It was amplified 
by degrees into the later practice of breaking up and throwing 
into the Piazzetta aU the furniture in the palace belonging to 
the lately deceased Doge. 

When in shoeless and cloakless state Lorenzo Tiepolo 
eventually knelt before the High Altar and swore fealty to the 
State, he received from the Dean the standard of St. Mark, 
and from the yoimgest of the senators the ducal biretta. 

After the rites in the church, came the enthroning in the 
palace, and then the clergy of St. Mark went in procession to 
San Agostino, where the TiepoU resided, to fetch the Dogaressa, 
Lorenzo Tiepolo's second wife, the Imperial Marchesina. 
Arriving at the palace, Marchesina was enthroned, even as her 
Prince had been. On the following day the fetes began with a 
review of a fleet of war-galleys and some other ships privately 
fitted out for the escort of Venetian trading- vessels on the high 
seas. These gallant barks sailed past the Ducal Palace in fine 
trim, and a hidden choir on the largest sang verses of compli- 
ment and acclamation to the Doge and Dogaressa. When the 
water procession was ended, that on the land began. All 
the trades of Venice, represented by their master-craftsmen, 
passed in groups, either workmanlike or fantastic, before His 
Serenity, seated in state on a balcony of the palace giving on 
the Piazza. Richly or grotesquely arrayed, as their humotir of 
invention took them, carrying symbols of their avocations and 
proceeding to the sound of instruments of music, tanners, 


furriers, clothmakers, goldsmiths, labourers, butchers, glass- 
blowers, and many others played parts in this grand pageant. 
The tailors, dressed in white dotted with vermilion stars, and 
having fur borders to their cloaks, made a striking group ; 
the gold-clothworkers, garmented in the fabric which was their 
stock-in-trade, formed a glittering one ; while, with Cervantes- 
like humour, the barbers, much privileged on account 
of their performance of certain skilled businesses of human 
surgery, masqueraded as knights-errant, two on foot and two 
on horseback. They brought with them four young women 
most capriciously attired. Stopping before the Doge, one of 
these knights-barbers dismounted, and bowing low addressed 
the Prince in heroic strain — 

" Sire, — ^We are two wandering cavaliers, who have set out 
to search for fortune and have laboured much for the conquest 
of these four damosels. We are now come to your court, and 
if any one denies our right, we are ready to defend it, Hke the 
good knights that we are." 

Entering into the spirit of the fantasy, the Doge replied 
that the knights were welcome, that he held them in high honour, 
and was sure nobody would dare dispute their happy conquest. 

" Viva il nostra messa Lorenzo Tiepolo nobile doge di Ven- 
ezia ! " cried the knights and maidens, and passed on. 

The touch of buffoonery needed to delight the groundlings 
was provided by the comb-makers, who carried lanterns filled 
with little birds, which, as they passed the Doge, they let fly, 
amid the laughter of the commoner people and the riff-raff 
who ran about in all directions trying to catch the poor winged 

Having circulated in the Piazza, the processions passed on to 
San Agostino to wait on the Dogaressa, and to bring her back to 
the palace, where their pageant ended in a display of the various 
works and manufactures of Venice. This show had been 
specially arranged in honour of the royal Dogaressa, who passed 
from room to room viewing the articles set out, and accepting 
graciously presents of sweetmeats. It was designed also as an 
object-lesson to all strangers within the city's gates, of the 
flourishing condition of Venetian industry. 

A famine darkened the first years of Lorenzo Tiepolo's 


reign, and wars and rumours of wars never wholly ceased 
throughout its seven years' span. Yet the conqueror at Acre 
did not, as Doge, take active command of any fleet or army. 
His thoughts were given more to business. The old sea-dog 
and empire-builder held that the Adriatic Sea was in truth the 
Gulf of Venice throughout its length, and that all foreign 
vessels sailing on it, from Istria to Apuglia, were bound to pay 
dues to the Doge. When he died, in 1275, Venice was in the 
thick of a dispute with Ancona concerning his presumptions 
as Husband of the Adriatic. 

The remains of Lorenzo Tiepolo were committed to the 
same tomb in San Giovanni 'e San Paolo that enclosed the 
bones of his father, and a laudatory epitaph was set up over 
him. The people's idol seems never to have lost his popu- 
larity. Yet in some respects he disappointed the general hope 
of him. He regarded as lightly as his father had done the 
letter of his country's constitution, and perhaps saw no harm 
in availing himself occasionally of the informations and the 
influence of his office to do a little personal business. Despite 
his popularity, popular opposition to an exclusively aristo- 
cratic government grew during his reign. This growth was 
manifested in the succession, after the short Dogeship of GiA- 
COMO CoNTARiNi, of GiovANNi Dandolo — " the Uucouth " — 
a statesman of markedly liberal views, and in the going over to 
the popular party of Giacomo Tiepolo, Lorenzo's own son. 


A.D. 1280 TO I3II 

ALTHOUGH Lorenzo Tiepolo had made it an early act 
of his reign to send for Giovanni Dandolo, in order to 
reconcile himself with the chief member of a family 
between which and his own there had been feud, it does not 
appear that their approach was more than formal. Dandolo 
held only foreign and colonial offices in Lorenzo's time, and 
their political principles remained widely separate. 

The first act of the government of Giovanni " the Un- 
couth " was the conclusion of a peace with Ancona, the terms of 
which, by their omission of any reference to the presumptions 
of Venice, show that Dandolo's way of ending the five years' 
campaign was that of abandoning the arbitrary demands of 
Tiepolo and Contarini, or at least of allowing the Anconese to 
feel that if they paid toll for their ships on the Adriatic they 
did it at pleasure. 

Giovanni Dandolo was a man of rough presence, independent 
mien and careless manners, yet he came of an illustrious and 
ancient house and had the habit of command. He held, how- 
ever, democratic views. The inconsistency of his character, as 
of the times, was shown in the part he took in the arrangements 
made between Philip, King of France, Charles (of Anjou), 
Tyrant of Sicily, and His Holiness the Pope, for the reconquest 
of Constantinople. 

It was natural enough for a Dandolo to wish to revive honours 
and a status that had belonged to an earlier and greater Doge of 
the name (Enrico was not a direct ancestor of Giovanni), and 
it was popular policy to be on the side of the Pope and all 


Italian princes and governors, against the Imperial power of 
Germany. But it was not a democratic act to undertake a war 
of aggression ; not even a deed of restitution, since the Prince to 
be re-instated (son of Baldwin 11 and son-in-law of Charles of 
Anjou) was the descendant of one who had gained his throne by 
a conquest. Neither was it " constitutional " to aid the policies 
of an autocrat who foistefl foreign governors, foreign troops, 
and foreign laws and customs on a people with a history, 
institutions and a spirit of its own. Yet Venice promised the 
aid of forty vessels of war for the escort of the French and 
Sicilian forces, with sufficient transports to take troops of her 
own to Constantinople. It was further agreed that Doge 
Dandolo himself should command the Venetian fleet. And 
Doge Dandolo had set out, but for a fell occurrence. 

The Sicilian Vespers turned the expedition from its course 
and brought to a precipitate end the projects of the brother 
of Louis the Saint, who held the Sicilian throne on behalf of 
the Guelph, and against the Ghibelline interest. The Sicilian 
Vespers changed also the destinies of many nations, and 
diverted from an end — of glory or of failure — the career of 
Doge Giovanni Dandolo. Charles of Anjou had other rights 
to think of than those of his son-in-law. The expedition for 
the re-taking of Constantinople never set forth. 

So, after all. Doge Giovanni Dandolo is chiefly remembered 
because of the Gold Ducat, " of greatest purity, like to, but 
better than, the Florin of the Tuscan city," which was coined in 
his time, and on which he was represented kneeling before the 
figure of St. Mark. The series of golden ducats continued 
regularly from Dandolo's time on for 513 years. They give 
interesting details of the costume of the Doge ; particularly 
evidencing the development of the form of the ducal biretta, 
which in the fifteenth century became definitely known as 
the Cor no. 

The coining of the ducat was indicative of the bold rule of 
Giovanni Dandolo, as well as of the steady commercial probity 
of the Venetian Repubhc. Not only was this coin of gold first 
minted in a period when earthquake and inundation had 
created great poverty in Venice, and when it had become 
necessary to raise a special loan for the subsidizing of the 


monasteries which were the relieving-houses of the day, but 
throughout all the fluctuations of Venetian prosperity and 
adversity its intrinsic value was never diminished, and by it the 
credit of the Republic was long maintained at a high standard. 

Another wise, yet popular act of this Doge, was his appoint- 
ment of a commission to revise the laws. The Dandoli were 
ever, by instinct, legislators and maintainers of justice. Yet 
they were Princes also, in act and in nature, and Giovanni came 
as near els any Doge of Venice to being a veritable King of a 
free people. Never again, in all the history of the Republic, 
was the ideal of a sovereign enthroned on the suffrages of 
his people, approached as nearly as in the time of Giovanni 

But because a Dandolo could rule — an autocrat with a 
democratic purpose — in accordance with liberal principles, it 
was not to be assumed that the flowing tide of aristocratic 
reform, which began with Doge Flabianico, had been rolled 
back. On the contrary, the rule of " The Uncouth " marked a 
period when the popular party in Venice made its last effort of 
success to be recognized as a political party at all. At his 
death, the people made their last throw for reassertion of 
their ancient right of nominating and acclaiming their Doge. 

The news of the decease of Dandolo was the signal for the 
assemblage of a tumultuous mob on the Piazza, which cried 
out that Giacomo Tiepolo — the liberal son of Lorenzo Tiepolo — 
was Doge. The ideas of Giacomo Tiepolo were certainly not 
as democratic as those of the people whose idol he had become, 
and it was probably less because of his own views than on account 
of the breaking of the laws of Venice by those who acclaimed 
him, that the Senate requested him immediately, and for the 
good of the State, to leave the capital, and thus to hide himself 
away from those whom his presence excited to revolutionary 

Yet it would not be forgotten by the nobles who opposed 
all tendencies towards a monarchial dynasty, that Giacomo 
was not alone a son, but also a grandson of a Doge, and more- 
over, that both his father and his grandfather had been singu- 
larly popular wearers of the biretta. Another disadvantage in 
Tiepolo for the Dogeship was his royal wife. It had been 


his own marriage to a Princess of Sclavonia, rather than that 
of his father with Marchesina of Servia, that had caused the 
introduction into the coronation oath taken by the octogenarian 
Contarini, of the promise not to marry a foreign princess 
without the consent of the CouncU. 

The election of a rigid aristocrat, in particular of one who 
had had no progenitor on the throne, had come to be inevit- 
able. Either that, or the whole patrician order must forfeit 
the privileges it had through centuries been most industrious 
in acquiring. Probably Giacomo Tiepolo was no more than a 
theoretic liberal. Certainly he did not act as a hardy democrat. 
He made no stand for the liberties of the people, but, bowing 
to the exactions of the Venetian constitution and the wishes of 
his peers, he retired to Villa Marocco in the Trevisan March. 

Then came to his own the great Pieteo Gradenigo, the 
votary of St. Catherine, that Princess in Egypt who ex- 
changed the splendours and ennuis of a barbaric court for 
the simplicities and activities of a refined convent, resigning a 
sensual marriage and her royal state for the enlightened and 
devoted existence of a student-nun and saint-instructress. 
Doge Gradenigo was a married man whose union with Tom- 
masina Morosini, a daughter of a most typically Venetian 
and aristocratic house, was significant of his character. Gra- 
denigo beUeved in the strengthening of the patrician order of 
Venice from within, yet he was not imperceptive of the dis- 
tinction attaching to the Morosini family through the marriage 
of his wife's aunt — an earlier Tommasina Morosini — to a King 
of Hungary. One of the first enterprises of his reign was the 
restoration of his cousin by marriage, Andrea, son of the Royal 
Tommasina, to the Hungarian throne. 

Although they kept strictly to every form and ordinance 
of the constitution, the patrician electors knew that their 
announcement of the accession of Pietro Gradenigo would 
partake of the nature of a coup d'etat. He who had been the 
leader of the aristocratic party during the popular reign of Dan- 
dolo the Uncouth, was not the Doge of the people's choice. 
So, when on St. Catherine's Day, 1289, it was called out to the 
crowds on the Piazza, " Pietro Gradenigo is your Doge, if it 
please you," the deputy of the Forty-One who made the an- 


nouncement, retired quickly and did not wail for applause. In 
aU the history of the Republic, this was the first time there had 
been need to proclaim a Doge so ctirtly. But the aristocrats 
had their backs to the wall and meant to defend, not so much 
their privileges as their principles, against all opponents. 

Pietro Gradenigo— Proveditor of Capo d'Istria — was 
an ideal leader for the oligarchy at this crisis. Suave, 
gracious and most caressing in Ms manner to his friends, 
he was firm, icy and severe with those who were his 
enemies or who in any way differed from him. Inflexible in 
view and purpose, he pursued the ends he set himself, without 
turning to the right hand or to the left, and, as Doge, he re- 
mained from first to last what beings of more impulse and truer 
humanity can never be, consistent. Whether carrying political 
reforms, making a stand against papal interferences, or putting 
down insurrections, he accomplished all with a determination, 
an astuteness and a finesse that won every battle. His engage- 
ments were nearly always those of diplomacy. He never 
resorted to force until every art of eloquence, persuasion and 
tactics had failed. Thus he was essentially and pre-eminently 
the man for his hour, the inevitable leader of the preponderat- 
ing party. 

The objects and methods of the closing of the Great Council 
— Serrata del Consiglio — have been often misinterpreted and 
much misunderstood. 

It was not the design of Gradenigo simply to shut the 
door of the legislature of Venice against aU newcomers, al- 
though he had been spokesman of the demand of the three 
chiefs of the Quarantia (chief criminal court and Senate) and of 
the six Privy Councillors who, in the reign of the uncouth 
Dandolo, moved for the exclusion from every Council of any 
man who could not boast that his father or some paternal 
ancestor had been a councillor of one kind or another, unless 
his election were carried by a majority, firstly of the Doge and 
his six advisers, and secondly of the Great Council. Even this 
early demand for greater restrictions on the eligibility for 
and access to the Chamber of Legislature had not been made 
with the aim of narrowing the Great Council. It was intended 
rather to prevent the inconvenience and jobbery promoted 

REF0RMAt!I0N and conspiracy 121 

by the method of its yearly renewal ; to purify it ; to keep it 
hedged about from adventurers and speculators, who purchased 
the birthrights of their betters and made cliques and con- 
spiracies to gain their personal advancement. Doge Dandolo, 
however, would have none of reforms in the direction of break- 
ing down rivalry and stemming competition, and Gradenigo, 
for his pains in suggesting them, was at the time (1286) sent 
back to Capo d'Istria,. whence he had been recently recalled. 

When, however, Gradenigo himself became the Doge, the 
aristocrats had their opportunity to make the changes they 
desired, and it was with his full sanction and active assistance 
that, in 1297, a law was promiilgated by virtue of which the 
names of all members of the Great Council during the previous 
five years were submitted to the Quarantia and balloted for, 
while a host of new members, proposed by the Doge and his 
Privy Councillors, were also voted on. The design of Graden- 
igo was to widen, rather than to narrow, the base of govern- 
ment, although he wished to extend it only among those whom 
he considered qualified to legislate by their possessions, race and 
training. The patricians of Venice had no indulgence for in- 
expert rulers ; nor could they suffer adventurers in politics. 
The time had come when the natural growth of the home 
population and the influx of the many foreigners attracted by 
the trade facilities of the Republic made it necessary for the 
limits of privilege and responsibility to be defined, and for the 
loss of national character through the mixture of the " fiower 
of the city " with ahens, to be guarded against. It is true that 
from time to time foreigners who had been officers of the State 
— as counts, castellani, visdomini and what not — were admitted 
into the number of distinguished citizens who could be elected 
as members of the Great Council, but, in the main, a Venetian 
descent and an aristocratic heredity were the only titles to the 
ofiice of a legislator, and it was the concern of the reformers to 
bring into the Great Council all who possessed these titles. 
Before Gradenigo's time, only a limited number of the Vene- 
tians of noble family had been able to avail themselves of their 
rights. The aristocrats had multiplied more than tenfold 
since the days of the first Doge of the Badoer fine, and numbers 
of them were excluded from the legislature, while men of inferior 


rank and foreign origin were clamouring to be admitted. A 
nMddle-class of enterprise, energy and capacity had sprung up. 
The Serrata consisted in drawing a Une once and for all between 
the gentiluomini and the cittadini, and in debarring the simple 
citizens from law-making and from aU part in the election of 
the Doge. They were, however, allowed to qualify for secre- 
tarial offices in the Government, and they could practise as 
Avogadori (advocates) and rise to the Chancellorship, which 
was a life-office. Besides the Chancellor's, the only other Ufe- 
appointments were those of the Doge and the Procurators of 
St. Mark. But the restlessness, ingenuity and capabihty of the 
middle-class demanded more vents than these. A plot was 
formed to assassinate the Doge. 

It was held that a Gradenigo could not possibly be sincere 
in wishing to admit to the Great Council " a greater number of 
families than had hitherto been recognized as noble and equal 
to the others," and that a Doge who built up against his own 
authority such an impregnable rampart as a widened Great 
Council must be influenced by some personal passion or griev- 
ance. It was incredible to the lower sort of mind in Venice, 
that any ruler should wish to limit the powers and preroga- 
tives of his office by increasing the functions and the autonomy 
of his subordinate councils and officers. Yet it had indeed been 
the aim of the Reformer-Doge to preserve his country from 
the rule of any autocrat, and to reduce it to a government so 
definitely and extensively oligarchic, that it should be entirely 
unassailable by foreign tyrants and home dictators. Against 
the domination of one, by the submission of many — a domina- 
tion that obtained in many neighbouring Italian states — 
Gradenigo set his face sternly, and from his view of what was 
best for Venice, no noisy ranters about Liberty nor turbulent 
agitators for " rights " could move him. The malcontents 
were not a numerous class, but in Marino Bocconio, a citizen 
whom great wealth, a fluent tongue and a confident manner 
seemed to qualify for a political career, they had a clamorous 
leader. Gradenigo's spring upon this one was cat-like, but 

On a day in the year 1301, some three years after the Ser- 
rata, Bocconio, with a considerable following of citizens, pre- 


sented himself at the doors of the Great Council during a sitting 
at which the Doge was present, and demanded admittance for 
the purpose of registering protests against the recent resolutions 
excluding their order from the legislature. Cool and imperturb- 
able, as if the occurrence were a customary incident of a session, 
Gradenigo, after a show of consultation with his advisers, bade 
the turbulents enter. Boldly the leaders of the popular 
deputation entered the Assembly. Then the doors were shut. 
What actually took place behind those closed door,s has never 
been revealed. It seems certain, however, that the tone of 
the discussion that ensued was, at least on the part of the Doge 
and his patrician councillors, courteous, suave and pleasant. 
The cittadini were convinced that their demands were favour- 
ably received, and on the morrow they presented themselves 
again at the palace ; this time with fair hope of being balloted 
for as members. But Gradenigo knew of a sure way of silenc- 
ing their clamours and did not hesitate to use it. There is an 
account which says that forms of election were actually gone 
through. This seems improbable, for upon a secret charge of 
seditious machinations against the government and the Re- 
public, Bocconio and his fellow-agitators had been already 
condemned to death. Shrift was short, and within a few hours 
of their jubilant thronging to the Council Hall, the leader of 
the agitators and ten others were hanged in the public sight, 
between the two red marble colimms of the " Loggia." Forty- 
two other known and suspected accomplices of Bocconio were 
banished from Venice then, among them being members of the 
ducal families of Polani and Malipiero. The Serrar had not 
excluded all favourers of a popular policy from the Great Council. 

Gradenigo pursued his course undisturbed. An interval of 
peace and prosperity seemed to proclaim the wisdom of the 
step he had taken, and nothing occurred between 1301 and 
1308 to shake the confidence of the Doge in his own methods, 
or to destroy the general fear of his consummate art and 

In 1308 the Lord of Ferrara — Azzo iii, second in descent 
from the Azzo d'Este who had been restored by the 
Venetians after their defeat of Salinguerra Torelli in 1240 — 
died, leaving as disputants for his dignities his natural son 


Fresco and his two brothers. On his deathbed Azzo iii had 
commended both Ferrara and Fresco to the protection of the 
Venetians, and, in view of the advantages to the islands of a 
possession on the mainland, the Doge was more than disposed 
to aid Fresco. But Ferrara was still, as at the time of the 
Venetian siege of it for Gregory ix, a nominal fitef of the Papacy. 
Pope Clement v at Avignon objected to the Republic posing as 
the city's Suzerain. There were those on the Great Council who 
objected also. These were the Guelphs. Gradenigo, however, 
maintained with firmness the Ghibelline position — a position 
which did not at this moment entail Imperial domination of 
a formidable character. There was practically no German 
Emperor ; only a number of princes who claimed the title from 
time to time. On the other hand, the Pope at Avignon, in 
strict alliance with the French Sovereign and the Angevin 
Kings of England and Naples, was a power that tyrannized 
over the liberties of many states and nations. Gradenigo held 
fast to Ferrara. The militia of Venice and Chioggia were 
embodied, and Giovanni Soranzo, a future Doge, led the first 
draft of troops to Ferrara. The Venetians very soon suc- 
ceeded in occupying the citadel of Tedaldo, which commanded 
the approach to the city by the river Po, and neither the re- 
sistance nor the cajolery of the Cardinal-Legate, who had levied 
troops in support of the claims of the D'Este brothers, could 
oust them from their point of vantage or turn their policy. 
Even a letter sent direct from His Holiness at Avignon to the 
Doge at Venice had no persuasive effect. The Papal envoys 
were dismissed by Gradenigo with the answer that " Ferrara, 
released by the arms of the Republic from the tyranny of 
Salinguerra in 1240, had returned under the domination of the 
House of Este, . . . and that Fresco having ceded the city to 
Venice, no right resided in any one to gainsay the possession." 
That popular feeling at this time was more on the side of 
the Ghibelline Doge than on that of the Guelphic orators in 
the Great Council who had deprecated an entry into a quarrel 
with the Church, was shown by the violence offered to the 
Pope's messengers in the thoroughfares they were obliged to 
traverse on their departure. And that it was through no hot 
petulance, but as a true representative of the preponderating 


party in the legislature, that Gradenigo subsequently declared 
war against Ferrara, is proved by the fact that it required the 
calling into existence of a special Board of War to empower 
the Doge to make the declaration. 

This declaration had the surprising effect of drawing from 
the Cardinal-Legate the announcement that he, and presum- 
ably the brothers d'Este, were ready to cede Ferrara to Venice 
in exchange for a recognition of the Seignorial rights of the 
Apostolic See and a payment to the pontifical treasury of an 
annual sum of 20,000 ducats. It seemed as if the Chiirch had 
abandoned its claims, and the Venetians, believing the game to 
be in their hands, rather elaborately explained that it was not 
in their power to pay the contribution required. 

This further defiance was promptly replied to by a Bull 
excommunicating the city of Venice, the Doge, the Privy 
Council and aU and sundry who had advised, aided or counten- 
anced the defence of Ferrara against the arms of the Church. 
It is probable that this Bull was launched by the authority of 
the Cardinal-Legate alone, for a space of ten days was allowed 
to enable the Venetians to think better of their conduct, and, 
presumably, for the obtaining from Avignon of a confirma- 
tion of the interdict. The Ferrcirese question was then sub- 
mitted to a special sitting of the Great Council, the Doge taking 
care to impress his views on that body before any arguments 
could be advanced against them. These views he put forward 
with quite startling frankness. He had favoured the preten- 
sions of Fresco d'Este against his uncles and the Pope, with the 
object of aggrandizing his own country, for by every method 
he desired to prociu-e the good, the authority and the glory of 
the Venetian State. Opportunities of the kind that now pre- 
sented themselves were rare. StiU more rarely did govern- 
ments know how to use them. He then explained how excel- 
lently he had used his. Fresco had already yielded him Ferrara 
for an annual pension. He was convinced that the Pontiff 
had been influenced by bad councillors and false information, 
or he would never have directed against the Republic a measure 
so harsh as the BuU before them. They might all be sure that 
as soon as His Holiness knew the truth of the circumstances, he 
would withdraw his anathema. 


Was Gradenigo so sure ? 

Was it not rather his art to strengthen defiance with 
courteous impUcation ? 

The views of the opposition were then explained by Jacopo 
Querini, a nobleman of courage and probity, unpledged to either 
party, who took an independent course, although disapprov- 
ing revolutionary methods. 

Querini begged the Council to consider that the first duties 
of a Government were to fear God, to reverence Holy ReUgion, 
and to sliow deference to the Pontiff, who was the Vicar of God 
on earth. They should consider also the cost of the war pro- 
posed and the toU of Ulness and death it would exact ; the 
present was rather a time for the repose and recovery of their 
city from grave and continued campaigns, than for its still 
further exhaustion. 

A fury of discussion followed these speeches. The Querini 
faction taunted the Doge's following with indifference to the 
popular welfare. The ducal party accused their opponents 
of lack of patriotism. The epithets " Guelph " and " Ghibel- 
line " were first hurled and bandied in the Great Council 
at this sitting. The aristocrats of Venice at this time first 
definitely ranged themselves for and against the temporal 
claims of the Apostolic See. 

Gradenigo carried the day, and although the Holy Father, 
when better informed of his Legate's action, of the ducal reply 
to it and of a subsequent treaty between the Venetians and 
Ferrarese, only repeated the thunders already given forth, the 
Doge retained his attitude of sovereignty. On 27th March 
1309, the Pope himself promulgated the excommunication, 
whereby the Doge, his councillors, the citizens of Venice 
and all others who should in any way aid, protect or counsel 
them, were subjected to a confiscation of all their possessions, 
movable and immovable, whether in Ferrara or elsewhere. 
The bull further declared all treaties of the Republic nuU and 
void, all trade relations of the Venetians severed, and all sub- 
jects of the Doge released from their oaths of fealty. It was 
permitted to any one to make slaves of the excommunicated 
ones ; they were rendered incapable of giving testimony or 
making wills, and were forbidden to succeed to ecclesiastical 


benefices. Prelates and clergy were ordered to leave 
Venetian territory within ten days. And all this at a time 
when papal bans were not matters only of form, but really 
enforceable penalties. 

Very soon, and aU over the Dogado, churches were closed 
and sacraments and services suspended. Venetian residents 
in foreign countries, and particularly in the influential kingdoms 
of England, France, Arragon and Sidly, were despoUed and 
maltreated. In several parts of Italy, Venetians were put to 
death for no other faiilt but that they were Venetians. Yet 
in full view of all these consequences, and on the very day of 
receiving the papal anathema, Gradenigo, in Council, dispatched 
to Giovanni Soranzo at Ferrara the following Imperial com- 
munication : — 

" Be it known imto you that we have to-day received the 
notice that the Pope, on Holy Thursday last, pronounced against 
us his threatened excommunication, unjustly and precipi- 
tately, without even waiting for our ambassadors. Take stock, 
therefore, of the forces you have with you and examine into 
your condition generally, and if any improvement occur to you, 
let us know it, for we are firm in our design to do all that in us 
lies, manfully and effectively, to preserve our rights and our 
honour. Especially have good care of our possessions and of 
our navy." 

But the submission which the terror of a human office 
could not exact, was enforced at last by divine operation. 
Pestilence rife in his army, and famine crying in his streets, 
humbled Doge Gradenigo in the end. A mission, composed 
of Carlo Querini and Francesco Dandolo-C^a'.s, was 
sent to Avignon in 1311, with instructions to use all 
their force to bring about a reconciliation. They ob- 
tained one, on terms. The Republic was pledged to pay a 
sufficient tribute in golden florins of Florentine coining. The 
ducat, for all its vaunted superiority, was apparently not yet 
valued as highly as the earlier minted coin. In any case, the 
Florentines were then the leading money-changers, as the 
Venetians were the leading merchants of the western world. 

Money was borrowed at 3 per cent. for. the payment of 
the Pope, and the negotiations connected with this loan, as 


well as other difficulties arising out of the dread excommunica- 
tion, did not tend to raise the popularity of Doge Gradenigo ; 
especially as, together with these disabilities, there had also 
to be endured the abandonment of Ferrara. 

The last Podesta appointed to that city from Venice had 
been Marco Querini, brother of that Querini who had spoken 
in the Council against the Doge's plan of war. Marco was a 
very different man from his brother, being violent in argument 
and action ; an incendiary whose flaming policies leapt to the 
destruction of all obstacles to his plans and theories. His 
daughter was married to Bajamonte (Bohemund) Tiepolo, son 
of Jacopo Tiepolo and grandson of Lorenzo and the Princess 
who was a daughter of King Bohemund of Servia. These two — 
Marco Querini and Bajamonte Tiepolo — were the heads of the 
great conspiracy against the life and power of Pietro Gradenigo, 
Doge. The causes that made them revolutionaries, traitors 
and assassins were both public and private. Querini's first 
grievance was undoubtedly the failure of the attempt on 
Ferrara. He had been made the Podesta in order that his 
criticisms on the rule of that city and the conduct of the war 
against it, might be silenced. He had taken the post in aU 
probability because he wished to demonstrate the superiority 
of popular methods of government over aristocratic ones. 
But no chance had been given him to vindicate his theories, 
and he had escaped from Tedaldo under conditions which had 
suggested that his direction of affairs there had not been so 
vigorous or persevering as it might have been. However 
that may be, he was now all agog for the undoing of the man 
and the government that had caused the disastrous war and 
brought down the ruinous excommunication. Nothing that 
Gradenigo or his party did was right, and the legality of an 
appointment of a Count of Veglia to the Privy Council was 
questioned by Querini one day in the Great Coimcil with a fury 
that fired an explosion of the hates of both Government and 
Opposition. There occurred in the Chamber a scene of 
anarchy and disorder that surpassed the fierce conflict which 
had followed the debate on the war. Some hand-to-hand 
fights across benches at last settled the disputes and permitted 
the election of pa Canale. 


Bajamonte Tiepolo's reasons for joining the conspiracy 
seem all to have been private, although he whom the Venetians 
had nicknamed il gran cavaliere was a believer in popular 
rights and a follower in action of the theories of his father. 
But Bajamonte had, in times when he had been Podesta in 
Modena and Corona, taken sums of money in addition to his 
salaries, and been condemned to make restitution. 

There is no doubt that Gradenigo was a statesman of the 
" Sea-Green Incorruptible " order, whom politicians less scrupu- 
lous than he hated for his disinterestedness. Yet in spite of 
the definite grievances and antagonisms of the individuEds 
organizing the plot against the Doge, the Querini-Tiepolo 
conspiracy grew in part out of the ordinary arrangements of 
legitimate party-meetings. There were present at the con- 
ferences in which the first sinister suggestions of an armed 
attack were made, Marco Donato, Jacopo Querini and others 
who never favoured the ultimate scheme, which was no less 
a one than that of gaining possession of the Rialto and its 
approaches, seizing the person of Gradenigo, and proclaiming 
in his place the son of that Jacopo Tiepolo for whom the popu- 
lace had clamoured at the time of Contarini's death, and who 
was therefore counted by the conspirators the legitimate Doge 
of Venice. 

It was on the morning of St. Vitus's Day — 15th June 1310 — 
that the revolutionists at last foregathered for their desperate 
attempt. Rain was falling. It blew a hurricane. Thunder 
and lightning added to the omens and discomforts of the 
undertaking, and when out from the Casa Querini at San Matteo 
near the Rialto, there marched at break of day two bands of 
armed men who shouted Liberia ! and Morte al Doge Gradenigo ! 
the winds howled down their voices. One of the two troops 
passed under the guidance of Querini, by the Calk 
dei Fabbri and the Ponte del Malpasso, to the Piazza of 
St. Mark. Tiepolo led his force by a more circuitous way. 
There was another leader of the conspiracy — one Badoer — 
who had agreed to raise a troop in Padua and join forces 
on Rialto. 

He was not waited for, although news had probably arrived 
that he was on his way. Emerging on the Piazza, Querini, 


whose advance was prompt, found the position he had meant 
to take by siorprise ahready occupied. Only on the previous 
night had the Doge been informed by Marco Donate of the plan 
for the morning, but men of Murano and Torcello had been 
gathered during the few intervening hours of darkness. The 
loyal Rialtines, and aU friends of the Doge and of law and 
order, were not without reinforcements. Groups of patricians, 
with their servants and dependents drawn up in arms, barred 
the way to the palace. 

At sixty, Gradenigo was as imperturbable as he had ever 
been, and the resource and energy of his actions even more 
marked. By daybreak he had mustered his army and received 
the reports of faithful agents sent to reconnoitre the Casa 
Querini and its vicinity. Avogadori and Signori di notte were 
aU assembled, and the workmen of the Arsenal stood by for 
a bodyguard. As Querini's troop came on to the Piazza, it was 
broken by the first rush of that of the Doge. The band of 
Tiepolo never reached the Piazza at aU. The Gran Cavaliere 
seems to have wasted time in swagger and other fussinesses, 
which he took for the proper deportment of a Doge to be. At 
San Giuliano, about the middle of the Merceria, he received the 
news of the rout of Querini's men. Calling a halt, he further 
divided his own band and proceeded with one detachment by 
the original route, while he directed the other to go by the way 
of San Basso. 

The householders of the Merceria, apprised by his halt and 
by the pompous redistribution of his little force of the nature 
of his expedition, began to offer his company violence, and 
Tiepolo was just putting his men into movement, with the 
cry of Morte ai tiranni! when a mortar which happened to 
be lying on the sill W8is aimed at him from a casement. 
The mortar missed the leader, but crushed the head of his 
standard-bearer, whose blood bespattered Tiepolo. The thrower 
of the missile was a lady, Giustina Rosso. Her " mortar-case- 
ment " long remained her monument in Venice, and she was 
subsequently rewarded for her act of daring by permission to 
fly the standard of the Republic from the window on all fete 
days, and by a promise that the rent of her house should never 
be raised. 


The crushing of his poor standard-bearer seems to have 
checked the advance of Tiepolo, and if he did not at once 
discreetly retire, he was speedily driven back across the 
wooden bridge of the Rialto by a sally from the Piazza of a 
body of Gradenigo's more disciplined men. This bridge the 
Gran Cavaliere immediately ordered to be cut down, and he 
proceeded to entrench himself and to await the arrival of 
Badoer and his Paduans. But the Doge had also reinforce- 
ments due, and the Chioggians, under their Podesta, arriving 
first, the advance of Badoer was effectually opposed. Grade- 
nigo himself imdertook to dislodge Tiepolo, but, true to his own 
nature, sent emissaries to parley with him, instead of soldiers 
to attack. Tiepolo, however, would have none of words. He 
did not at first know of the repulse of Badoer. But even 
when information of the rout of the Paduans came, the Cavaliere 
held out grandly, and chose not to put confidence in Gradenigo's 
promises. A grey-headed and eloquent Privy Councillor 
eventually prevailed with him, and Tiepolo consented to lay 
down his arms, on the conditions that he himself and his 
accomplices of aristocratic rank should be banished /for four 
years to Dalmatia, that his less-distinguished followers should 
receive pardon, and that he should surrender or make good all 
money, arms and provisions abstracted from government 
stores or private houses. 

By subsequent resolutions of the Council, all these things 
were carried out, and it was further enjoined that the houses 
of Tiepolo at San Agostino and of Querini at San Matteo 
should be demohshed, and all wives and families of the exiles 
in Dalmatia also banished from the Dogado. Badoer was tried 
for high treason. He had not the personal distinction and 
popvilarity which made the clement treatment of Tiepolo 
politic, and his offences against the State were aggravated 
by his employment of foreign hirelings and his endangering 
of the peace between Padua and Venice. He was beheaded 
on Sunday, 22nd June 1310. A number of his associates 
suffered the same fate on the following day. 

It cannot be said that the indulgence shown by the Doge 
and Council towards the Pretender Tiepolo was well requited. 
In April 131 1 he appeared in none-too-friendly Padua, and 


presided there over a meeting that had been convoked in a 
mysterious manner, and was intended to be a secret gathering. 
But there were Venetian spies in Padua, and letters were 
handed to the president, even as he urged his wrongs, that 
caused his immediate departure. Precautions were taken to 
prevent his entry — ^whether surreptitious or overt — into the 
Dogado. There was still a party that pinned its hopes on tht 
Gran Cavaliere. He returned, however, to Dahnatia and 
gradually passed out of the realm of politics, becoming an old 
man and a refugee who desired only to rest. 

But for some years the danger of another rising in Venice 
on his behalf remained an acute one. The true intention of 
the drastic Serrar had yet to be understood. There were still 
plebeians of wealth and intelligence like Bocconi who desired 
outlets for their political aspirations, as well as nobles like 
Tiepolo who might aspire to a regal destiny. So to prevent 
surprises of attack and insurrection, and to eradicate roots of 
sedition, it was decided to establish, as a guard for the troublous 
times, a Council of Ten to act and order with the Chiefs of the 
Forty, in such a manner as they should think proper. It was 
agreed that the Ten might be drawn from every branch of the 
administration, but that no family should furnish two members,, 
and the Procurator of St. Mark could not be one. A limit of 
time — ^till the following Michaelmas, it was then July — was 
also set. But on September 29th, the Doge, whose attendances 
at the Great Council had not recently been frequent, came 
down and represented the expediency of prolonging the life of 
the Board of Inquiry, as the Council of Ten was called, in 
order that it might devote itself stiU further to rooting out 
treason. By a series of similar appeals to the Great Council, 
the privileges of the Ten were confirmed for five years. Thus 
was estaHished an arbitrary committee, the ofifice of which was 
to render nugatory the tsnranny of individuals and the turbu- 
lence of factions. 

But before this first Board of Ten had been established 
a full year, the organizing mind and peremptory will 
chiefly instrumental in founding it had ceased to work 
and exercise. 

Doge Gradenigo died on August 13th, 1311. Grandly he had 


lived, but simply he was buried. There was too much agitation 
in the city for a pompous funeral to be given him with any 
safety. He departed this world, as in some senses he had re- 
sided in it, with surrender of his prerogatives and in contempt of 
popular homage. Yet the character and the destiny of the man 
were regal, and he consolidated a system of government that, 
for good and ill, was to endure in Venice so long as the Republic 
retained its autonomy. It was a system of infinite artifice and 
wonderful intelhgence. It prospered greatly when the Doge 
presiding over it could rise superior to it. It languished when 
the ducal chair was occupied only by an official. It avoided 
the shocks, the violences, and the weaknesses both of more mon- 
archical and of more democratic systems. At the same time, 
it suffered the loss of truer human and finer spiritual elements, 
and was, in consequence, a system tending to crystallization 
and contraction, rather than to growth and expansion. For 
aU that, it showed to mankind, in many grand periods and high 
phases of Venetian wealth, culture and power, that government 
by a true aristocracy has value, and that no amount of good 
intention and high design in governors or governed can com- 
pensate for lack of training or for loss of mastership in the 
arts of control and organization. 


A.D. I3II TO 1354 

WHEN Gradenigo died, there was only one among all the 
nobles of Venice who could be said to claim the Doge- 
ship by a personal distinction. This one was Stef ano 
Giustinian, who had been many times an accredited Ambassador 
for Venice. He received a large majority of the votes, but 
immediately refused the of&ce and retired to the monastery of 
San Giorgio. There, in full view of the Ducal Palace, which 
looks ever across the water on to the island of the monks, 
Giustinian changed his senatorial garb for a religious habit, 
and withdrew altogether from the political scene. 

The putting forward of a second candidate proved a diffi- 
cult task. Other Senators and Councillors were either too 
capable or not capable enough. The spirit of the Serrata made 
the patrician voters fearful of the dominance of popularity 
yet anxious for the dignity of their deputy on the throne. In 
particular, at this moment, they desired a Doge who would 
help Venice to win back the favotir of the Pope. As the 
electors ruminated, each one hesitating to make a nomination 
to which another might take exception, they perceived, through 
the windows of the Sala del Scrutinio, the aged Councillor 
Marino Zorzi crossing the Piazzetta, followed by his servant 
carrying a sack of loaves for the relief of the prisoners in the 
Pozzi. These Pozzi were the cells on the ground floor of the" 
east wing of the palace, through the barred windows of 
which it was customary for the incarcerated to stretch hands 
for charitable doles. 

The thought flashed instantaneously that this man of 


piety, who, only eight years before, had been an Ambassador 
for the Repubhc to Rome, was the Doge they sought — the Doge 
from whom the Father of all pious could not withhold absolu- 
tion. Forthwith, and with one voice, they elected Marino 
Zorzi. Yet so opposed were these Venetians to the intro- 
duction of any personal feeUngs into their system of ad- 
ministration, that even as their generous impulse swayed them, 
they were affrighted, and thought of all the contingencies their 
weakness might give rise to. On the occasion of another elec- 
tion, an aspirant might recommend himself by performance of 
a similar pious or patriotic act beneath the windows of the Sala. 
Before the successor of Zorzi was chosen, it was decreed that 
in times of ducal elections all windows and loggie of the palace 
should be closely shuttered. 

The year before his accession, Marino Zorzi had refused, 
upon the excuse of his age and infirmities, to go upon an em- 
bassy of greeting to the Emperor Henry vii on his entry into 
Italy. But he seemed to regard his election as Doge as a direct 
call of God, and accepted the onerous ofhce without demur. 
Without demur also, he took the ducal oath in which, by an 
added clause, he promised not to make any alterations in the 
decrees prohibiting aU members of the Tiepolo family, and 
other followers of Bajamonte Tiepolo, from ever again taking 
office in, or serving on councils of the Venetian Government. 
The ten months of Zorzi's Dogeship seem to have been un- 
troubled by conspiracies, although the suppression of the 
Tiepoli had not expelled all rebel tendencies and personal 
ambitions from Venice. But so long as the city lay under the 
Pope's ban, the energies of both the government and the opposi- 
tion remained more or less dormant, and even the piety of a 
Doge who in his lifetime founded the Church and Monastery 
of San Domenigo, and at his death left a bequest, with detailed 
directions for the institution of an asylum for indigent children 
of both sexes — ^the first institution of the kind in Venice, and 
the germ of the present Asili Infantili — did not prevail for the 
removing of the papal censure. 

Instead of bringing Venice into better favour with Clement 
v. Doge Zorzi sought rather the friendship of the Emperor. 
His refusal, in Gradenigo's time, to give greeting for Venice 


to the Imperial traveller, indicated some Guelph leaning, and, 
at the time of his election, he was counted a Guelph. But 
when the Emperor first came to Italy, it was not thought that 
the Pope would prove so long obdurate, and it had to be seen 
whether the German monarch would receive the general hom- 
age of the ItaUan States, and win his way to Rome for coronation. 
To the letter sent by Henry of Luxembourg to Gradenigo, 
demanding a suspension of hostilities until the Monarch should 
have time to settle the general peace of Italy, and requiring 
the feudal services of Venice for himself as Roman Emperor, 
the haughty Doge had replied congratulating His Majesty 
upon his arrival in Italy, and offering to send him ships, should 
he wish to make the passage to the capital by water. In answer 
to the superb direction to cease from fighting, Gradenigo had 
said that he was not at war with any power; he had only 
some ^differences with the Pope which he hoped soon to see 
terminated, though he would be obliged by the good of&ces of 
His Majesty in hastening the reconciliation. As to the services 
presumed to be due from the Republic to the Emperor, the 
Doge did not know what they were. If any existed, the 
Venetians would render them. In the meantime, they desired 
to pay all honour and respect to His Majesty. 

It is said that the language of the envoys who presented this 
letter to Henry of Luxembourg, was fully as ambiguous as that of 
the missive. No wonder, therefore, that a bishop of the Emperor's 
suite wrote concerning the Venetians and their political atti- 
tude at this time, that they appeared to consider themselves a 
veritable quintessence (or fifth element), and recognized neither 
the Church, nor the Emperor, nor the sea, nor the land ! 

Venice and Genoa were the two States of northern Italy 
which had not permitted their ambassadors to swear fealty to 
the German Sovereign. 

But when at last, with the support of the GhibeUine 
Visconti of Milan, the Emperor had so far triumphed over the 
Guelph party in Italy as to be resting at Cremona on a fair way 
to Rome, he felt sufficiently recovered from the rebuffs of Grade- 
nigo, to write to Doge Marino Zorzi inviting him to send an 
honourable deputation to his coronation ceremonies. Four 
Venetian deputies were chosen — Pietro Zeno, Guido da Canale, 


Vitale Michieli, and Belletto Giustinian — and feudal service was 
rendered to the extent of a ducal permission to the Emperor 
to enlist, at his own expense, as many as fourteen hundred 
Venetian bowmen for his army. That there were in the 
Dogado shooters enough to furnish such a large detachment 
for the Emperor's service, was due to the obligation laid on all 
citizens by the reforming hand of Doge Gradenigo, to exercise 
themselves in sharp-shooting. 

It was undoubtedly pohtic of Doge Zorzi to temporize a 
little with the Emperor, particularly as he refrained from 
going to any extreme of friendship that could offend the Pope, 
who sent three Cardinal-Legates from Avignon, to crown 
Henry in the Church of St. John Lateran. St. Peter's 
and the Vatican were held meanwhile by King Robert of 
Naples, chief of the Guelph party, who remained stoutly 
inimical to the claim of the Luxembourg Prince to be called 
King of Italy and Roman Emperor. But the quintessential 
attitude of Venice was always to be independent of, though, 
as occasion demanded, inclining towards both Guelph and 
GhibeUine, Pope and Emperor, sea and land. This attitude, 
Zorzi was Venetian enough, for all his pieties and sincerities, 
consistently to maintain. It was the same with the wars 
and the commercial treaties. When rebellion broke out once 
more in Dahnatia, he countenanced a heavy loan for the 
expenses of the prospective war, and wrote peremptorily to 
the King of Hungary reminding him of the ancient rights of 
the Venetians over Zara, and begging him to give neither 
asylmn nor help of any kind to the rebels of that city. He 
did not live to watch the progress of this Dalmatian war, but 
he did live to compose a peace between Venice and her old 
rival Padua. This achievement must have been one of 
the few grateful tsisks of his short reign. By the agreements 
of April 1312, certain regulations favourable to Venetians 
concerning trafific on the rivers Brenta and Adige were laid 
down, and the Paduans were allowed to get salt from Chioggia. 
The Doge who succeeded to Marino Zorzi was a person 
of very different order. Giovanni Soranzo had been in his 
time Podesta of Chioggia and Captain of an expedition 
against the Genoese. He had taken Caffa and defended 


it against the Tartars ; seized all the war and merchant ships 
of the Genoese fleet and returned a hero to his country. 
Later he had fought against Padua, and taken part in the 
war with Ferrara, of which city he was nominated Podesta 
in 1308. In the year following, he came back to Rialto, as a 
Procurator of St. Mark. 

Soranzo came to the throne in a time of war, and his genius 
as a commander of men and organizer of campaigns, profited 
Venice not a little. Besides punishing the Zaretine rebels 
with vigour, he delegated his right of command to capable 
soldiers, and established in Dalmatia such a wholesome terror 
and determined system of goverrmient, that within a very 
few years, not Zara alone, but Trau, Sebenico and Spalato 
became fully subject to the Republic. 

To this man of war and business Pope Clement v eventually 
yielded the pardon for Venice that he had withheld alike from 
the haughty and subtle aristocrat and from the man of charity 
and devotion. A letter from the Doge to the Commune of Treviso, 
bearing date 14th February 1313, announced the conclusion 
of an agreement with the Pope. Clement had at last 
received the 100,000 florins Doge Gradenigo had considered 
too dear a price for the papal blessing. The negotiator of the 
affair was Francesco Dandolo, surnamed Cane (Dog). 

It was for long a popular belief that Francesco Dandolo 
obtained his surname from a diplomatic feat in being led 
into the presence of the Pope by a chain attached to a dog- 
collar round his neck. The affix, however, was not an uncommon 
one to distinguished names of that time, and certainly apper- 
tained to this Dandolo before he went to Avignon. Yet it is 
to be believed that he appeared before the Pontiff in the 
character of a faithful hound, entirely at the disposition of 
His HoUness. It was a bold jest, if jest it were — it may 
have been a ceremonial manner of showing submission and 
devotion to superiors — ^but Francesco Dandolo was bold. A 
sturdy Venetian to the backbone, his name fitted him also as 
a watch-dog of the constitution. More Guelph than Ghibel- 
line, he wanted Italy for the Italians, and the Pope of Rome 
in his own place ; not Italy for the Germans and the Roman 
Pontiff a bondman to France. 


But the time of Can Dandolo's dogeship had not yet come, 
and Soranzo, the man of action and management, ruled accord- 
ing to the strict letter of Venetian law. He was almost without 
emotions, and neither for himself nor for Venice had any 
romantic plans. Like his predecessor, Zorzi, he was pledged 
to pursue with stern disfavour every member of the family 
of Tiepolo, and the fact that a daughter of his own— named 
Soranza — had married Nicolo Tiepolo, did not prevail with 
him to seek mercy for the outlaws. On the contrary, he 
performed so well his function as part of the governmental 
machine, that poor Soranza Tiepolo was kept for twenty-five 
years a prisoner in a convent. In an ideal Republic there is 
no place for parental tenderness or kingly mercy. All the force 
and the feeling in the man Soranzo were subjected wonder- 
fully to the interests of the State. He vindicated far more 
thoroughly than had Gradenigo himself, the theories that 
Gradenigo advanced. Yet he was not wholly without pre- 
dilections of view and temperament, and he did not consider 
the papal excommunication to be a blight of such a horrifying 
nature as to cause him to despair of the progress and develop- 
ment of his native land. 

The prosperity of the Republic had indeed begun to revive 
even under the cloud of the papal ban. So stable had Venetian 
institutions become, it was difficult to shake them. Better 
than all, good weather and good trade had brought a sense of 
physical well-being that made the critical and the captious, as 
well as the cheery groundlings, applaud Soranzo's administra- 
tion. The wisdom of putting government entirely into expert 
hands seemed justified indeed of her children. An extra- 
ordinary increase of the population throughout the Dogado, 
and others of those causes which can be numbered only among 
blessings of Heaven, certainly conduced to Venetian prosperity 
at this time, but to the activities of Soranzo must also be 
attributed much of the development of interior wealth, and of 
the extension of exterior trade relationships, which took 
place in his reign. On the seas, the Venetian fleets kept the 
Genoese adventurers in check, and swept the waters of the 
Levant and the Grecian Archipelago clear of Asiatic enemies 
and European rivals. It was said of the Captain Giustiniani 


Giustinian, when he sailed to recover from Ottone Doria, the 
Genoese Commander, some Venetian merchant-vessels cap- 
tured at Lagazzo, that he had victory in his bosom. The 
phrase may well have been a spontaneous one on Venetian 
lips at this time. It could have been applied with equal 
fitness to Doge Giovanni Soranzo in all that he undertook 
for the defence of Venice and the enlargenlent of Venetian 

In the year 1314, Soranzo made a treaty with Frederick, 
King of Sicily, and later received from his successor Alfonso 
a letter excusing himself for any molestations of the Venetians 
which he might have caused. In 1317, a commercial treaty 
between the Doge of Venice and Matteo Visconti, Lord of 
Milan, was concluded, and compacts advantageous to the 
wealth and peace of Venice, with Bologna, Brescia, Como and 
other northern cities of Italy, followed at intervals. With 
the King of Hungary, the Count of Flanders and the King of 
England also, commercial arrangements were concluded. 
The business with England was chiefly about wool. Venetian 
traders sailed to Boston in Lincolnshire, whence they shipped 
wool to Flanders, there to be woven into or exchanged for 
cloth and garments which were brought south to furnish the 
shops of Venice and to sell in Dalmatia and the Levant. 

In the Far East, too, Soranzo had advantageous dealings ; 
not alone with the Emperor Andronicus of Constantinople, by 
whom the Doge was styled Dominus terrarum et insularum sua 
ducatori subjectarum, but also with the Sultan of Tunis and 
with rulers in Trebizond and Persia. 

Among his home activities were the building of new 
houses for the Procurators of St. Mark, the enlarging of the 
chapel of St. Nicholas in the Ducal Palace, the extension of 
the Arsenal, and the improvement of the condition of the 
streets and bridges. The ihdustry of mirror-making was 
also begun in Venice, and to increase the security of the public, 
there was added to the order of police called Signori di notte, 
another body of guardians, known as Cupi sestieri. 

To the end of the sixteen years and six months of his reign, 
Soranzo retained his prestige and his popularity, and when he 
died he was carried in wonderful pomp and amid general 


lamentation through the hall of the Signori di notte, to the 
Church of St. Mark, where the Dogaressa with her ladies and, 
as a special concession, her incarcerated daughter Soranza 
Tiepolo, waited to receive the dead husband and father, whose 
richly habited form, stretched on a bier, was borne on the 
shoulders of state officials and followed by a train of councillors 
and nobles. Soranzo's sword, shield and golden spurs pro- 
claimed him, so long as those patricians carried him high, the 
chief of the Republic, but when they left him at last, low in 
the baptistery, the coat-of-arms of his house was the only 
sign put upon his tomb to tell that a Doge lay sleeping there. 
So they committed the virile and executive Soranzo to his 
rest, and since the govemmient of Venice did not expire with 
a dying Doge, the Privy Councillors and heads of the Forty 
speedily retired to attend to affairs of state. A little later and 
the Campana rang for the assembly of the Great Council. 
When this was summoned, an ancient rose, spoke a few words 
of condolence and praise in regard to the dead Doge, then 
called upon all present to pray to God for the election of a 
good prince to follow him. 

To this prince, whoever he might be, was presently voted 
an increase of revenue ; the former annual payment of 4000 lire 
being raised to 5200 with the grant of a further sum for initial 
expenses on his accession. This sum was, however, to be 
subsequently repaid. Allowances were also given for addi- 
tional household servants and their better apparel, and it was 
further decreed that a zoja, or diadem, should be made and 
put into the charge of the Procurators of St. Mark, for the 
decoration of the Doge on occasions of high ceremony. Yet 
even as provision was made for an augmentation of the state 
and grandeur of the governmental head, rules were added 
to those which limited his personal power and authority. 
He was not to call together an Arengo — or popular assembly — 
of his own impulse ; neither was he to give any orders in 
regard to the affairs of San Marco, although he remained a 
patron of the church. 

There is no doubt that, throughout all these preliminaries, 
the electors knew very well whom they were going to choose. 
In the opinion of nobles and people alike, there was at the 


moment one Doge who had to be, and when the news of the 
election of Francesco Dandolo Cane went abroad, multitudes 
ran to acclaim him and to carry him to the palace to take 
his oath of office. The new decree that no Doge should ever 
convoke a popular assembly of his own accord had not been 
without design. Francesco Dandolo was one who might 
have been tempted by his own popularity and his natural 
facility in winning personal respect, to exercise the 
prerogatives of a Monarch. That he looked upon his office 
as a sacred chaise, not conferred upon him only by the 
suffrages of his peers, was shown upon the day of his election, 
by his turning aside from the straight course to the palace 
towards which his thronging admirers urged him, to enter 
the church. Prostrating himself before the altar, he received 
his investiture from the Dean, and the administration of his 
oath from the populace at large. Issuing at last from the 
Beisilica, bearing in his hands the banner of St. Mark, he 
mounted to the upper floor of the palace — the boisterous 
throng still pressing on his heels — and swore to the Ancients of 
the Councils to observe his Promissione. Then presenting 
himself on a balcony, he spoke to the people, promising them 
justice, abundance and an honourable devotion to the Republic, 
with benevolence for all who were well-behaved. 

His speech to the crowd ended, the new Doge passed 
with a great following to the Chamber of the Great Council, 
where he took his seat for a few minuteis on the ducal throne. 
He then paid a formal visit to the Hall of the Signori di 
notte, whence he returned to the Council Chamber, before going 
on to his private apartments. Later, he gave the customary 
collation to the various Councillors, who presented to him the 
Ballotino, by which name was known the boy who, at the 
election of the Doge, drew the ballots for the successful candi- 
date from the vase into which the electors dropped them. 

The ceremony of complimenting the Dogaressa and re- 
ceiving her oaths was then proceeded with in her own home, 
after the manner already established in the day of Marchesina 
Tiepolo, but with touches of added consequence. The wife 
of Francesco Dandolo was brought to the Piazzetta in the 
Bucintoro. She paid her devotion and offered her 


oblation in San Marco, and was conducted with state to a 
throne set up for her in the Hall of the Signori di notte. On 
this she sat for a few moments, with her ladies grouped 
about her. At the inauguration banquet given by her, 
she feasted all the representatives of the arts and industries 
of Venice, who had previously — some on horseback and some 
on foot — passed in procession before her. The festivities were 
brought to an end by the formality of summoning the popula- 
tion of the Dogado, " from Grado to Capodargine," ^ and even 
from Veglia, by heralds who presented to each district a standard 
of St. Mark, to take their oath of fealty to the new Doge. 

It is indisputable that Francesco Dandolo's conception 
of the character of the ducal office belonged to an age that 
had passed. He felt himself divinely appointed to a true 
sovereignty, and although he paid respect to the laws, as 
a lawgiver should, he would not slavishly follow regulations 
and customs which prevented his use of executive oppor- 
tunities. In the same way, his conception of the destiny of 
Venice was of an old-fashioned order. He believed in her 
mission to aid in the liberation of the Holy Land from the 
Turkish grip, and, like both his predecessors of his name, 
he had faith that an alliance with Constantinople was a meet 
partnership for the Queen of the Adriatic. 

An early alarm from the East drove Dandolo into a 
special compact with the Greek Emperor and the Knights 
of Rhodes. Upon the request of the King of France, he 
was quickly willing to furnish arms, men and provisions 
for the new crusade against the Ottoman Turks, which Philip 
of Valois so greatly desired as a means of uniting with him, 
in a common warfare, his dear brother Edward iii of England, 
whose naval and military preparations, at the time, were 
all directed towards the conquest of France for the British 
crown. Owing, however, to the landing of King Edward 
in Philip's domain, the Crusade never sailed from the port 
of Venice, and Doge Dandolo was very soon more than 
occupied by quarrels and invasions much nearer home than 
northern France or eastern Greece and Thessaly. 

The many cities of Italy which had not taken the elaborate 
1 Cavargere. 


precautions against a popular or tyrannic government that 
Venice had always been so careful to devise, were now nearly 
all dominated by certain families and ruled by tyrants, 
ferocious or reasonable, cruel or kind, as the case might be. 
The Visconti governed Milan and its dependencies, Florence 
was a conquering Commune bent on the subjugation of Lucca, 
the grip of the Gonzaga was on Mantua, the Estes were reseated 
at Ferrara and ruled Modena, and the Scaligeri (Alberto and 
Mastino, nephews of the famous sleuthhound of savage 
quality, Cane della Scala) were lords of Verona, Vicenza, 
Brescia, Feltre, Padua and other cities, which, as links of a 
chain, carried their dominion right across Italy. 

Now Padua was near enough to Venice to make the Scala 
lordship over it a true menace to the peace and integrity 
of the island republic. But since it had been with the assent 
and even with the co-operation of the ruling party in the 
State of Venice that the Scaligeri had established themselves 
in the celebrated university town, the Venetians could not 
quarrel with them for their propinquity. When, however, 
the active and ambitious Mastino took possession of Treviso 
and, both at Padua and Treviso, levied extra tolls for naviga- 
tion of the river Po, and began, moreover, to rebuild the 
salt works and tower of defence at Petadebo, just below 
Padua, the Venetians could brook no longer the insolent, 
if silent, threats of the tyrant, and sent him letter after letter 
of expostulation. 

To these documents of state, signed by Can Dandolo, 
were attached the ducal seals in lead. Portentous missives 
they were, yet Mastino's only comment on them was, " Why 
does the Doge send me so much lead ? He had better keep 
it to roof the campanile of St. Mark ! " 

The famous bell-tower on the Piazza, which had been 
first erected in the year 888, had at this date — about 1335 — 
been rebuilt, but some work on the summit waited to be 
done, and its unfinished appearance was made a reproach 
to the pompous Venetians by their jealous neighbours. 
Scala's words were taken as a challenge. Dog had met dog. 
The old watcher of Venice had, however, some misgivings 
about offering battle to the young Mastiff of Milan. 


Now Anna, only daughter of Doge Gradenigo and his 
Dogaressa Tommasina (Moros-ini), had been married in her 
father's time to Jacopo Carrara of Padua, and had already 
been instrumental in establishing a long-sought peace between 
Venice and Padua. She had also exerted herself to make 
peace between the Scaligeri and her husband, and had been 
rewarded by her Jacopo's elevation to the Signory of Padua. 
At the time of this triumph, her cousin Marco Gradenigo 
had been sent from Venice to be Podesta of Padua. Anna 
died three years later and three years before her husband's 
death, leaving a daughter — ^Taddea — who seems to have been 
her only child. Upon the death of Jacopo himself, he was 
succeeded in his dignity by his nephew Marsilio Carrara, 
who reigned for about four years, what time Taddea went 
to live with her mother's relatives in Venice. In 1328, Can 
della Scala marched against Padua once again and Marsilio 
offered him no resistance, but agreed to govern Padua thence- 
forward as a deputy of della Scala. In the following year — 
1329 — ^Taddea was married to Mastino della Scala, already, 
by the intervening death of his uncle, become Tyrant of 

In July of the same year the brothers della Scala made 
a state entry into Padua. Alberto, the pleasure-loving and 
indolent one, immediately settled down there, while the 
more active and ambitious Mastino hurried on to fresh con- 
quests and other political achievements. Both brothers, 
however, became jealous of the authority exercised by Marsilio 
Carrara in his native town, and the erstwhile Lord of Padua 
was nominated by them Podesta of Vicenza. A hideous 
wrong was further inflicted on the Carrara family by Alberto's 
seduction of the wife of Uberto Carrara, cousin of Marsilio. 
Thus the family friendship, which might have been brought 
about by the marriage of Taddea and Mastino, was ruptured by 
the relations between Alberto and Uberto, and by the jealousy 
of Marsilio, with which the brothers wete inflamed. 

Matters were in this state when the haughty and treacher- 
ous Mastino made his offensive remark about Doge Dandolo's 
leaden seals. The first reply of Venice to the insult was to 
suspend all commercial relations with Milan and to prevent 


the shipping of salt from the Venetian seas . Mastino responded 
to this by introducing trade from Germany and by extending 
the salt works at Petadebo. The protest of the Venetians 
soon resolved into an occupation by the Chioggians of ground 
close to the tower of defence, whence they could molest the 
new industry of della Scala. 

Not being prepared for war, Mastino sent ambassadors to 
the Doge to recall to him the ancient amity existing between 
their peoples and themselves. The castello of Petadebo, he 
declared, was for defence, not for offence. In regard to the 
salt dues and other river tolls, each prince, he maintained, 
had a right to augment or reduce his own, and before quarrel- 
ling on account of Veronese encroachments, the Venetians had 
better restore the lands which had previously formed part of 
the Trevisan country and were now illegally held. The 
Doge made answer to this that Venice also desired peace, 
but under certain conditions. Verona must not add to arrange- 
ments of existing conventions, tolls that interfered with 
Venetian traffic ; must not make her own salt ; must not disturb 
the legitimate possessions of the Venetians on Trevisan soil ; 
must not prevent the products of the mainland coming freely 
to Venetian islands. 

To these demands della Scala took care not to reply until 
he had completed the tower at Petadebo and furnished it with 
munitions of war. He then sent a message that it would not 
be becoming in a great prince to demolish what he had just 
built ; nevertheless he was willing to submit the rights in 
discussion to the judgment of arbitrators. 

" First destroy the tower," said the Doge, " then our cause 
can be tried." 

" I have no commission to add words to my message," 
replied the ambassador, and quitted the ducal presence. 

There were few upon the CouncU who did not feel that 
nothing was now left for Venice but to declare war. Among the 
few, however, was Doge Dandolo. He held the time-honoiared 
views concerning the mission of his country, and believed that 
the wisdom and the strength of Venice lay in detaching herself 
from all continental affairs. The risks of a war, waged on 
land against the possessor of Verona, Vicenza, Padua, Treviso, 


Feltre, Belluno, Ceneda, Brescia, Parma and Lucca, seemed to 
him too great. It was not the part of Venice to seek alUances 
and to engage mercenary troops and foreign generals, yet all 
these things would have to be done if armed conflict with 
Mastino della Scala came about. 

But the greater number on the Council held other views. 
The power of the Scaligeri was not so formidable as was repre- 
sented, and already they had made themselves detested of all 
their neighbours. The Florentines, from whom they had seized 
Lucca ; the Rossi, the banished lords of Parma ; Azzo Visconti 
of Milan, whom Mastino had attempted to have poisoned ; the 
Gonzaga, from whom he had tried to wrench Mantua ; all of 
these would rally round the Republic, already strong in its lord- 
ship over Dalmatia, Istria, Candia, Negropont, the best part of 
the Morea and other territories. In olden days, Venice had 
defied the pride of Eccelino da Romano at Padua ; in olden days 
Venetians had fought with success on terra firma. Mercenary 
soldiers and foreign generals were no terrors to a state founded 
on the affections of the people governed. Above all, urged 
the leaders of the war party, Venice must not show fear. The 
fleet retaining the possession of the seas, would bring across 
them riches and provisions. Confident in her own strength 
and in that of her allies, trusting in the justice of her cause, 
Venice must declare war. 

So the party of the Doge was outvoted and Francesco Dandolo 
declared war against Mastino della Scala, amid scenes of popular 
enthusiasm. All the men of the Dogado, between twenty to 
sixty years old, were summoned to serve their country's need. 
They made up the number of forty thousand and one hundred. 
Hardly had the bruit of the war-declaration sounded across 
Italy, before from every comer of the peninsala, as well as 
from countries beyond the Alps, practised men of war and 
many exiles flocked to Venice to take arms against the Scali- 
geri. In particular, Florence seized the opportunity of pro- 
claiming a vendetta against the thief who had stolen Lucca ; and, 
obtaining from Venice the promise of the re-possession of that 
city, agreed to share the charges of the war. A fitting captain 
for the two armies, offered in the valiant and zealous Pietro 
de Rossi, who had been chased by the Scaligeri from Parma. 


Reputed to be the most accomplished Knight in Italy, the allies 
invited him heartily to Venice, where, on the loth of October 
1336, in the magnificent basilica and amid a concourse of 
frenzied and shouting people, there was confided to him, with 
all solemnity, by the hand of the Doge himself, the standard 
of St. Mark. 

The war developed much along the lines predicted by the 
councillors who had called for its declaration. The league 
of the Italian rulers was joined by the princes of Bohemia 
and Carinthia. Only Visconti of Milan showed himself a 
cowardly fighter. De Rossi proved a capable commander. 
Mastino della Scala had to engage troops from Bavaria, and 
was so hardly pressed that there seemed at one time to be 
danger of his losing Verona. Some treachery of Visconti, who 
did not wish to see Venice too successful, saved the situation 
for della Scala, and, taking heart, he advanced on Mantua, 
designing to make sudden assault from thence on the Venetian 
position under the walls of Padua. At the last moment, 
either his plans went wrong or his nerve failed, for he retired 
again upon Verona and sent Marsilio Carrara to Venice to 
parley with the Doge. 

If a bold fighter, Mastino seems to have been a poor 
diplomatist. It is true that Marsilio was an honorary noble 
of the Republic, and had relations with the dukedom that 
no doubt obtained for him an honourable reception by the 
councillors. But Mastino could not have reflected that not only 
had his own and his brother's jealousy deprived Marsilio of a 
high position in Padua, but that a Carrara must be resentful 
of the outrage inflicted on Uberto's honour by Alberto 
della Scala. However, Marsilio carried out his mission with 
exactness, and made formal demand of the Senate for terms 
of peace. He was told that the Scaligeri must restore to 
Padua, Treviso and Parma their pristine liberty and cede 
Lucca to Florence. This was the official answer for Mastino, 
but the true business of Marsilio's visit to Venice was 
conducted in quite another manner. 

With other ambassadors, he was being received by 
Francesco Dandolo in a portico of the palace where the Doge 
passed in and out among his guests, exchanging light com- 


pliments of ceremony. " What prize to the man who gives you 
Padua ? " whispered Marsilio in Dandolo's ear. 

" The Signory of the same," answered the Doge quickly 
and quietly, as he turned ta another delegate. 

These off-hand words have been described also as being 
interchanged at a banquet when the heads of host and guest 
were beneath the table for a moment, as each stooped to pick 
up a dropped napkin. In any case, there was made in Venice 
a verbal compact between Dandolo and Marsilio, that was 
ratified in the house of Carrara at Padua, on September 30th, 
1337, after the taking of that city by the Venetians. Further, 
Marsilio was not allowed to enjoy the lordship of Padua until 
he had solemnly promised not to make any alterations in the 
original trading and traffic arrangements between Padua 
and Venice. Later on, Carrara had to give the added 
guarantee that he would aid with all his forces in the 
repulsion of any attack on the Republic, whether from land 
or sea. 

The war came to an end at last with triumph for the 
Venetians, to whom was allotted in the final divisions of 
territory, Treviso with the estate and castle of Castelbaldo, 
which estate was eventually passed on to Uberto da Carrara. 
Florence, however, did not obtain Lucca. A treaty of peace 
was signed by the plenipotentiaries of all the countries, and 
sworn to before the altar of St. Mark, in January 1339, ^^nd 
on the 14th of February a gorgeous tournament, witnessed by 
the Doge in state, was held on the Piazza to celebrate the 
restoration of amity. 

When the Venetians entered into the possession of Treviso, 
they sent there as Podesta one Marino Faliero, who had 
already served the State with dignity and ability in other 
parts of the ducal dominion. Long life full of offices and 
honours yet lay before him, although he was to come at 
last to great dishonour. But his story must not be told until 
that of Francesco Dandolo has been finished. Dandolo 
died eight months after the holding of the great 
tournament. He was buried in Sawia Maria dei Frari, his 
monument being transferred later to the cloister of the 
Seminario Pairiarcale, where it is still to be seen. 


Between the reigns of the third and fourth Doges Dandolo, 
there was elected a second Gradenigo (Bartolomeo), who for 
the three years that he reigned in Venice proved himself a man 
of dignity and sense. In the additions to the ducal Pro- 
missione made for him, we find no clues as to his character, 
although there were, as was usual, some indications of opin- 
ions held about the ways of his predecessor. Bartolomeo 
Gradenigo had to swear that he would not respond to the 
questions of anyone relating to affairs of state without first 
consulting his councillors. It was evident that, whether the 
result had proved advantageous or not, there were those 
concerned in the government of Venice who did not approve 
Dandolo's method of gaining for the Republic the overlord- 
ship of Padua. Yet Dandolo knew, what in a much later 
time Bismarck announced, that all diplomacy worthy to be 
so-called, is accomplished by word of mouth, by half-spoken 
phrases and half -acknowledged hints : not by written" docu- 
ments. And, despite all Promissione, it is probable that 
many intelligent successors of Dandolo, when occasion called, 
replied to informal but pertinent questions of ambassadors, 
even as he did, without consulting any oracle save that of 
their own judgment. 

Bartolomeo Gradenigo had been a Procurator of St. 
Mark de supra before his final elevation, and it was during his 
procuratorship that there occurred the terrible storms and 
inundations which, as was said and believed, were only stilled 
by the direct intercessions of St. Mark, St. George and St. 
Nicholas, who embarked one by one from their respective 
shrines on Rialto, San Giorgio, and the Lido, in the boat of 
a poor fisherman, who, rowing them round to the Piazza, 
received from the Evangelist himself, as he landed, a ring 
which the simple boatman took next day to the Procurators 
of St. Mark (or the Doge) and thereby proved his story of 
the apparitions of the night. 

One characteristic may be noted in the not parti- 
cularly notable Bartolomeo Gradenigo, that of his mental 
balance. He reigned at a time when there was need to 
revert to the older policies of Venice to which Francesco 
Dandolo had by nature inclined, but which the pressure of 


general opinion had compelled him to abandon. It is to be 
understood, therefore, that it was for the good of Venice that 
Doge Gradenigo 11 replied to King Edward iii, who sought 
the help of a Venetian fleet in his war against Philip of France, 
that he grieved over the enmity between two kings which 
was a danger to all Christianity, but he could not send galleys 
to the assistance of the British, because the Republic had to 
take steps to repulse the Turks for the common advantage. 

King Edward had also begged the Doge to appeal to the 
Genoese, should the Venetians be unable to give him aid. He 
had promised also many commercial privileges to Venice, and 
invited the two young sons of Gradenigo to visit him in 
England, where he offered to have them trained in all knightly 
exercise. To the first of these requests the Doge replied 
simply that he did not find it convenient to write to the 
Genoese ; for the rest, he thanked His Majesty for the con- 
cessions to the Venetians and for the courteous expressions 
concerning his sons, for which he was grateful. 

The short reign of Bartolomeo Gradenigo is memorable 
also as that in which the work of building " a new saloon " 
wherein " to assemble the Greater Council " was undertaken. 
This saloon is the one known to us to-day as the Sala del 
Maggior Consiglio, and is a gem of architecture, set boldly 
and beautifiiUy in the Gothic Palace begun in the time of 
Pietro Gradenigo. 

When Bartolomeo died in 1342 there was no doubt in 
the minds of either the patricians or the populace as to who 
deserved to be his successor. Andrea Dandolo had been 
proposed for the Dogeship in 1339, but owing to his youth — 
he was then about thirty-two — Gradenigo was elected instead. 
Now, at thirty-six, the noble of illustrious name and large 
fortune, whose personal virtue was so great and manners so 
perfect that he was known as " Courtesy " and " The Count of 
Virtue," obtained in each scrutiny a large majority of the votes. 
He had been the first of all the yoimg Venetian nobles to take 
the degree of doctor at the University of Padua, and for 
some time had been a professor of laws there. Thus, all 
circumstances of his Ufe and heredity prepared him for the 
office of a legislator and fostered the literary abilities that were 


exhibited later in many ways, but particularly in his composi- 
tion of the annals of his country's glory and the lives of his 
country's Doges. Like all the Dandoli, he was a wonderful 
combination of analytical and executive parts, and if not 
possessed of so grand a character as the great Enrico, of Byzan- 
tine fame, he was superior in his culture and his accomplish- 
ments to any Doge of his house, perhaps to any who ever 
mounted the Venetian throne. 

It was his lot to come to office at the time >vhen the 
breaking of the Greek dominion was opening a way for the incur- 
sion of the rising power of the Ottomans. Without the aid of 
the Genoese and Venetian fleets, the Greeks could not defend 
themselves against the " Young Turks." Yet, with the long- 
held Acre and other jointly occupied towns in Palestine lost 
to the Mahommedans, and with the lusty Ottoman armies at the 
very gates of Constantinople, the two sea-powers of Italy were 
so little alarmed by the true dangers of their time, that they 
wasted their energies in rivalries of each other and in covert 
attacks on the political unity and mercantile strength of the 
Greek Empire. The papal anger against a government that 
dared to uphold reUgious tenets and an ecclesiastical hierarchy 
not prescribed by Rome, constantly fomented the jealousies of 
Venice and Genoa. Schemes of successive Pontiffs tempted 
Venice to idle crusading projects of reclamation and conquest, 
instead of encouragiag her to form such an alliance as would 
assure the defence of all Europe and the greater prosperity of 
both Republics. The governments of the West all seemed 
blind to the fact that the only bulwark for Christian Europe 
was a strong and well-supported Emperor at Byzantium. 

After entering into an alliance with the Pope, the King of 
Cyprus, the Greek Emperor, the Grand Master of Rhodes, the 
King of France and the Dauphin of Vienne, for the purpose of 
crusading against the Turks in Palestine, and at the very time 
that the Venetian captain Pietro Zeno was being accounted a 
martyr because of his death in a church during the defence of 
Smyrna, Doge Andrea Dandolo committed the infidelity of 
asking the Pope to allow Venice to trade with Mussulmen in 
Egypt and the Syrian ports. The special ambassadors to 
Avignon for that cause were Marino Faliero and Marco 


Corner. They prevailed so far that, in the following year, 
the Pontiff addressed a rescript to the Doge which took into 
consideration that Venice was dependent for her daily food on 
her sea-trade, and that the Venetians had recently shown great 
zeal for the affairs of the Holy Faith, and therefore permitted 
the resumption of trade with the Turks, provided there was no 
exporting of prohibited articles. These articles were arms, 
iron, ship-timber and slaves. Yet it may be that Venice 
was not so blind as she appeared, but that, true to her quint- 
essential nature, she regarded reclamation of holy soil and 
slaughter of the enemies of the Christian Faith as ends of 
policy less advantageous to her own prosperity and integrity 
than the spread of her trade relationships and the maintenance 
of her independence. 

So, if we consider Andrea Dandolo as mouthpiece of the 
concentrate Venetian thought and as type of the resolved Vene- 
tian character of his day, we understand how it was that, 
despite the high designs and great hopes with wMch he ascended 
the throne, heyet became the AndreaDandolo, kiflamedwith war- 
fever, inveterate against a rival sea-power and insensible to all 
poetic views about the unification of Italy, that Petrarch found 
him, when Doge and Poet met together in Venice in 1353. 

Other things besides the pressure of the mercantile am- 
bitions and of the national vanities of the patricians who 
governed Venice (and the Doge with Venice) had had a part 
in chilling the enthusiasm and restraining the generosity in 
Dandolo, between the time when he and Petrarch first made 
friends at the University of Padua, and the hour when the 
Poet arrived at the Ducal Palace eis an Ambassador for the 
Archbishop Giovanni Visconti, Lord of Milan and Imperial 
Vicar in Italy. 

The early part of Dandolo 's reign had seen many triumphs. 
The taking of the valuable trade station of Smyrna had been 
quickly followed by the repression of a revolt in Zara, and a 
defeat, with great slaughter, of the King of Hungary, who 
designed to possess himself of a direct route from his dominions, 
through Zara, across to Apuglia and on to Naples, where his 
brother's widow, the notorious Giovanna, reigned. But in 
January 1348 severe shocks of earthquake had shaken down 


houses and campanili, dried up canals and brought much loss 
and apprehension to the Venetians. After the earthquake 
came pestilence. " Black Death " stalked through Italy ; 
beginning at Genoa, spreading east and west, killing Laura de 
Sade, the love of Petrarch at Avignon, and carrying off three- 
fourths of the population of Venice. Among those swept out 
of existence by this terrible scourge were fifty families of the 
Venetian aristocracy and so many members of the legislative 
bodies that new elections had to be held for the Forty, and 
the quorum of the Great Council which nunibered about a 
thousand members, to be reduced from thirty to twenty. 

WhUe this affliction fell on the city, certain disaffected 
colonies of the Republic, together with its active enemy Genoa, 
seized the occasion to revolt against the Government and attack 
its foreign possessions. In 1350 the great Genoese Admiral 
Filippo Doria took Negropont from the Venetians, and the 
Doge, in retaliation, sought an alliance with the King of Ara- 
gon and the Emperor Joannes Cautacugenus of Constantinople, 
against Genoa. The Emperor, being already in debt to the 
Venetians, to whom he had pawned his crown jewels, could 
do no less than make an effort to redeem his securities with 
service. It was agreed that his property should be returned 
to him as soon as the city of Pera was reclaimed from the 
Genoese. In 1351 the contest became fierce, but when the 
attack of Pisani, the Venetian Admiral, on Pera failed, the 
Emperor abandoned his engagements to Venice, and put himself 
at the disposition of Genoa. The Venetians, however, with 
the assistance of an Aragonese fleet, gained a signal victory over 
the Genoese, at La Lojefa on the Sardinian coast, which 
had the result of driving Genoa, at that time a Republic under a 
Doge, into the protection of the Lord of Milan. This protec- 
tion made it incumbent on the Visconti, so the Archbishop 
said, to fight the battles of Genoa against Venice, although they 
had previously agreed not to do so. It behoved the Vene- 
tians, therefore, to arm themselves for a land conflict by the 
hire of condottieri, and to oppose the ambitions of the Lord- 
Archbishop to the Roman crown, by forming a league against 
him, with the Marquesses of Montferrat and Ferrara and the 
Lords of Verona, Padua, Mantua and Faenza. As a final 


check to designs of the Visconti, the King of Bohemia 
(King-Elect of the Romans and prospective Emperor) was 
invited to be Captain-General of the League, and did indeed 
come into Italy, but having obtained his crown in Rome, 
marched back to Bohemia, without in any way dealing punish- 
ment to the Visconti. 

It was just as this league was forming that Petrarch was 
sent to Venice with the object of pressing on the Doge some 
terms of peace with Genoa, suggested by the Archbishop. 
The poet had ahready written to his old friend (March 1351) 
lamenting that the stout and obstinate enemy with whom 
Dandolo's republic was at war, was of Italian race ; not from 
Damascus, Susa, Memphis or Smyrna, but from Genoa — an 
enemy, war with whom mUst result in the extinction or 
darkening of one of the two eyes of Italy. 

It is evident that the poet had confidence that his pleadings 
would move the Doge, and it was probably with great hopes of 
effecting a peace that he journeyed at last to Venice to have 
personal talk with Dandolo. Petrarch's own words tell more 
eloquently than can any others, of his disappointment over 
the attitude and temper of one whom he spoke of later as 
" good and honest, a great lover of his country, and moreover 
learned, eloquent and prudent, and courteous and gentle." 

" When many words had been wasted," he wrote to 
Dandolo himself in the year following his visit, " I returned 
as full of sorrow, shame and terror, as I had come full of hope. 
To open to reason ears that were stopped and hearts that were 
obstinate, was a task beyond my eloquence, as it would have 
been" beyond that of Cicero." 

Yet while lamenting the prevalence of the war-fever and 
the din of arms that had made the hearts of the Doge and 
his nobles deaf to wholesome coimsel and just entreaties, 
Petrarch had been constrained to admit that no ruler was 
better advised than Dandolo ; no people more calm and 
dignified than those of Venice. He essayed once more, how- 
ever, to expose the horrors of war, especially war between 
Italians carried on by hired foreign soldiers. Like wolves and 
vultures, these delighted in carnage. Their thirst for blood 
and gold was equal. In times of peace they feared and 


starved. Was Dandolo going to let all the fair and lovely 
part of Italy that lies between the Apennines and Alps become 
the prey of these foreign, hungry wolves ? He must not 
think that if Italy perished, Venice would be safe. 

" Nature has made thee," he urged, " gentle and a lover of 
peace, and your people one whose unbounded prosperity rests 
not on the foundation of war, but on peace and justice. Be- 
ware you do not fall under the condemnation the Psalmist 
pronounces on those ' who pondered unrighteousness in their 
heart, and stirred up strife all the day long,' or incur the male- 
diction, ' Scatter the peoples that delight in war.' If perchance 
thou hast let the popular breath drive thee on a dangerous 
course, draw back thy foot from the precipice while thou 
canst, whilst the armies have not yet engaged, whilst Mars 
thunders, but has not yet launched his thunderbolt, whilst 
the sweet name of peace can yet be heard amid the bitter 
and dreadful threats of war. Seize the last chance, that thou 
mayst be called the author of peace in Italy, and band down 
to posterity a name already glorious in many ways, with this 
glory above the rest. What will thy literary distinctions 
advantage thee, thy study in the liberal arts, in which fame 
proclaims with truth thy great achievements above all other 
rulers of this age, if, having seen what is better, thou pursuest 
the worse course ? " 

So Petrarch wrote on, beseeching Dandolo to hear and 
attend to him. A month later he wrote again, and again 
lamented the wounds of their common country, inflicted by 
her own sons — the country that knew not how to live at peace, 
but that let the ambitions of her princes and the jealousies 
and differences of her peoples tempt strangers to meddle in her 
affairs and promote internal discords in order that they might 
spoil and subjugate the land. What advantages, he asked the 
Doge, do you expect to gain from your victory ? A depressed 
exchequer and great losses in lives will be the prices you will 
pay. Beautiful and blessed is peace. By peace, trades and 
industries flourish and populations become civilized. It 
was in the power of the Doge to give this blessing to his own 
Republic, as well as to all Italy, if he would only put away 
anger and hold out his hand fraternally to Liguria. In con- 
clusion, Petrarch conjured the Doge, by the love he had 
always borne for virtue, by his affection for his country, and 


by his own glory, in gaining which he would prove himself 
worthy to be compared to Trajan, to give to Italy peace. 

The reply of Dandolo was almost pathetic in its passionate 
resentment of Petrarch's suggestion that a popular war-breath 
had blown him aside from the path of wisdom and justice. 
All the sensitiveness and all the tenacity of the man are shown 
in the Doge's epistle. Rightly or wrongly, Dandolo believed 
with his counsellors, that the aim of Visconti and the Genoese 
in trying for a truce was to obtain time to build a larger fleet 
and generally prepare themselves for further depredations on 
Venetian trade and for extended conquests of Italian territory. 
Genoa as a dependency of MUan was a more formidable foe 
than had ever been Genoa alone, and the Doge could not 
have faith in the disinterestedness and benevolence of the 

His words to Petrarch at this time were that he had always 
loved peace and was not one who would wiUingly disturb it. 
He wished nothing for his enemies, if not the quiet of Italy, 
and desired not to boast after victory, well knowing the glory 
that redounded to a Prince who used moderation (mercy) 
after triumph. He marvelled therefore that Petrarch attri- 
buted to him other thoughts, after the friendly and benevolent 
response given to him and the other ambassa,dors when they 
came ; and after the embassy sent in all good faith to the 
High Pontiff in order to arrive at an accommodation with all 
parties. He had devoted all his forces to the object of avoid- 
ing the very evils which his correspondent had depicted so 
truthfully and strikingly. The poet would do better to direct 
his exhortations to those whose avidity had been the cause of 
so much commotion. " As for us," Dandolo concluded, 
" although human thoughts vary with varying times, we shall 
be always, as we have ever been, disposed for any peace that 
will be glorious and honourable for our country." " For 
such a peace," he added, " we and all our citizens are ready 
to give not only gold and silver, but our lives and all we hold 
most dear." 

That the Genoese had not neglected the construction and 
fitting out of new vessels, while Visconti parleyed with Venice, 
was soon shown by the appearance of a new fleet under Doria 


in the Adriatic. Lesina and Curzola on the Dalmatian coast 
were sacked and burned, and later the city of Parenzo in 
Istria was devastated. Then was alarm indeed in Venice, but 
no confusion. One, Paolo Loredan, was appointed Captain- 
General for the city, and under him served twelve patricians 
who each led thirty men. An iron chain was stretched across 
the Lido port, and " the Doge himself, in armour, contrary 
to his custom, took part " in the active defence of his capital. 
He presented a vaHant front, but a sudden dise,ase, contracted, 
so it was said at the time, by grief, laid hold of him, and he 
died within three weeks from the taking of Parenzo. 

He was happy, said a chronicler, in that he did not live 
to grieve ever the worse disaster of Porto Lungo, when 
Paganino Doria routed the Venetians under Nicolo Querini 
" without a struggle, and overcame them without a victory." 
It appeared that the new ships of the Genoese were light and 
swift ; such as were useful indeed for coast attacks and battles 
in shallow waters. The late contests had revealed to one 
" eye of Italy," though the other had not so early perceived it, 
that these handy craft were the kind most needed for contests 
in the Adriatic and the Grecian Archipelago. The powerful 
old ships of the Venetians could not follow the enemy into all 
coves and streams. 

So Andrea Dandolo passed on his way, his great popularity 
being slightly lessened at the time of his death by the repute 
he had won in some quarters of being too tenacious in his 
struggle with the Visconti. Yet his name and his fame lived, 
and even those he had resisted, mourned him. 

" I knew him to be a good man, though more ardent in the 
pursuit of war than was consistent with his nature and 
character," was a further account of him by Petrarch. " I 
did not spare him in his lifetime; he bore my reproaches 
patiently, but, elated by recent victory, he rejected my 
counsel." Then, thinking of Porto Lungo and swayed by a 
natural disposition to crow, the resisted pleader added : " Death 
was kind to him in sparing him the sight of his country's 
bitter sorrow, and the still more cutting letters I would have 
sent him." 



A.D. 1354 TO 1365 

THE corrections of the Oath prepared for the Doge to 
succeed Andrea Dandolo included promises not to 
receive any retximed ambassadors or delegates of the 
Republic, except in the presence of four councillors and two 
chiefs of the Quarantia. There were also other restrictions 
on what remained of ducal autonomy, and all these restraints 
on the freedom and supervisions of the actions of the Venetian 
Doge should be remembered by those who would- read aright 
the piteous tale of Marino Faliero. 

The Doge whom Byron made the hero of a tragedy, and 
around whose name circles so much of the glamour and 
mystery of Venetian story, was, at the time of his election, 
at Avignon. He had gone thither on the embassy for peace, 
to which Andrea Dandolo referred in his letter to Petrarch. 
It was not the first time he had been an Ambassador for 
Venice at the papal court ; neither was it the highest office 
he had ever held. He was seventy-six years of age, and 
from early manhood had been appointed to one responsible 
post after another. Nearly forty years before, in 1315, he 
had been a member of the newly formed Council of Ten, 
and one of the two of that body instructed to bring about 
the death of Bajamonte Tiepolo. From acting as Podesta 
of Padua, of Treviso and of Serravalle — where he became 
Count of Vahnarena in the Venetian Alps — he passed on 
to magistracies in Dalmatia and other colonies, and was 
eventually knighted by the Emperor Charles iv in his castle 



at Vienna in 1353. To Vienna Faliero went with the same 
Marco Corner who had been his companion at Avignon in 
1345. The object of the later joint mission was a reference 
to the new Emperor of the dispute between the King of 
Hungary and the RepubUc of Venice as to the right of owner- 
ship of Dalmatia. Charles decided that Venice should keep 
Dalmatia and pay a money contribution to King Louis. 

Yet, for aU the glories of a career in which he came at 
last to the highest honour of the State, there was a time when 
some unexplained cancellings of preferment had taken place. 
When the expedition for the siege"" of Zara was setting out, 
in the time of the late Dandolo, proposals for the appoint- 
ment of Faliero as Captain-General of both fleet and army 
were made and he was actually designated Captain 
of the Fleet. But the legality of a dual command being 
questioned by the Avogadori — the official exponents of the 
laws and the advisers of the Councils — he was not given a 
command at all. He appears, however, to have been sent 
to Zara as a Proveditor, or government representative to 
accompany the army. He was therefore not the active 
recoverer of Zara, as Byron, building up his hero from un- 
compared scraps of history and legend, styled him. 

It may be that the vacillations about his command were 
due to some doubts of his loyalty to the Republic. These 
doubts had certainly not existed at the time that he was 
entrusted with pursuit of the traitor Tiepolo, and if they 
ever arose, were forgotten at the hour of his election. Yet 
there are evidences in his career — notably the fact of his 
acquisition of the feudal title and office of Count — that he 
was a man of strong personal ambition and vanity. Further, 
he had seen something of the power of rulers who followed 
their own designs by the consent of the general public and 
were not in servitude to bands of jealous experts in govern- 
ment or to hosts of carping officers of state. 

However that was, no exertions were spared to give Doge 
Marino Faliero an honourable welcome to his Dogado. A 
safe conduct from Avignon was obtained by the Councillors 
and the Chiefs of the Forty, from the aged Archbishop of 
Milan, who, as Lord-Paramount and Protector of Genoa, was 


still at war with Venice. At Verona, the new Doge was met 
by twelve Venetian nobles, who paid him all honour, and 
attended him down the Adige by boat to Chioggia, where 
the Bucintoro -lay. It was the 5th October 1534, and an 
autumn fog covered the lagoons so thickly that it was judged 
dangerous to proceed in the heavy vessel of state. So the 
Doge and his following embarked in piatie with intention 
of making the riva by the Ponte della Paglia. The barks 
missed the landing-place, and touched shore between the 
two columns on the Piazzetta. It was an omen of sinister 
fate, recalled later, if not recognized at the time, that the 
one Doge executed as a traitor to the State, landed, on the 
eve of his proclamation, at a place where gamblers met to 
challenge luck. Darker presage still, it was also the place 
where heads of malefactors were exposed after decapitation. 

And now for the story of Marino Faliero's conspiracy 
against the Venetian government, which was indeed the chief 
event of his reign. 

Le vieux doge avait une jolie femme que ne lui etait pas 
fidele. That is a French version of the story, which contains, 
in embryo, the whole plot as it is generally retailed. The 
second wife of Marino Faliero, who was Lodovica Gradenigo, 
of the family of the great Doge, if not, as has been claimed, 
his granddaughter, may have been a handsome woman enough. 
She was, however, over forty years of age at the time of her 
husband's reign, and was probably of rather weak intellect 
and character. Probably too, she entered with zest into 
social amusements, and permitted to her ladies-in-waiting 
frolics and diversion which the tragic Doge very rightly 
considered indecorous. Faliero was never one to brook the 
least derogation of his dignity, or the slightest want of respect 
for his arrangements. On one occasion, while Podesta at 
Treviso, he boxed the ears of a bishop who kept him waiting 
for a religious ceremony. No wonder, therefore, that at a 
grand entertainment in the Ducal Palace which wound up 
the Holy Thursday festival of bull-baiting and pig-sticking 
on the Piazza, the Doge flew into a rage at the sight of a 
spark of nobUity offering familiarity to a lady of the Dogaressa's 
suite. Then and there Faliero had the offender turned out 


of the palace, and by the act set many idle tongues wagging 

and some impudent spirits aflame. The young blood, upon 

whom fell the sentence of the Doge's wrath, had not been 

alone that night in his free conduct and gay ways. It had 

become a fashion among the striplings of the aristocracy to 

go about in swaggering bands, insulting slaves and women of 

all ranks with remarks and gestures supposed to betoken class 

superiority to ordinary decencies. Even in churches, signs 

of horrid suggestion were made by these young savages. 

The impudence of the rufflers took the form also of posting 

offensive placards {polUzini) and of singing outrageous songs, 

in conspicuous parts of public buildings. A band of these 

flippant desperadoes attended the Doge's baU on that Holy 

Thursday night, and were encouraged, rather than repressed, 

by at least one foolish woman whose loss of dignity reflected 

on the state and reputation of the Dogaressa. That this 

lady was young and a faithless wife, may be better believed 

than that Lodovica Faliero was either youthful or immoral. 

Indeed, the light of modem research makes it clear that the 

woman of folly was no other than Cristina Faliero {nee 

Contarini), the young wife of the Doge's nephew, another 

Marino Faliero ; the same nephew described in the Doge's 

will as his diletto nepoie. But the insolence to Cristina that 

night, though disturbing enough to ducal dignity, was a light 

thing compared to the deUberate outrage offered to the Doge 

on the following day. For Michele Steno, in his fierce 

resentment for his dismissal from the ball, pinned on to the 

ducal chair of state and caused to be dropped in the private 

apartments of the Doge, placards with the ornamentation of 

a pair of horns, on which were written the abominable lines — 

Marin Falier, de la bella mugier, 
I altri la gode, e lu la mantien.^ 

The outrageous couplet has been dubbed apocryphal by some 
thoughtful historians. It was certainly never copied into any 
of&cial accounts of the Faliero conspiracy that have been 
preserved. But then there are decided gaps in the records of 
this lurid reign. The discovery of the will of the widowed 

* " Maxino Faliero, with the beautiful wife, 

Others delight in her, while he — ^he maintains her."j 


Dogaressa, and of other documents that fix her age and sub- 
sequent history, has disproved the tale that she was young 
and faithless. But the facts that the tradition of the young 
and faithless wife was so firmly established ; that the Doge's 
nephew of his own name had a young wife ; that this wife's 
maiden name was Contarini ; that some chronicles state that 
the Doge's second wife was a Contarini, whereas it is now 
known positively that she was a Gradenigo and his nephew's 
wife a Contarini ; that the official notes of the punishment of 
Michele Steno £ind others, for " foul and slanderous words " 
written on the camino of the Doge, make no mention of the 
Doge's wife, but do declare that the words were in vitu- 
perium domini duds et ejus nepotis ; and, moreover, that there are 
many examples in history which show that in the days of Faliero, 
nepote was used indifferently for niece or nephew, and applied 
equally to a nephew's wife ; all these facts, it must be owned, 
make up a strong body of proof that the woman satirized 
was Cristina (Contarini) Faliero, and the husband of the horns, 
the younger Marino. In any case, the insult seems to us now 
so abominably gross, that it might well have received severe 
punishment in days of cruel penalties and ruthless retaliations 
in law and custom. But they were days also of much licence. 
Spades were called spades, and a man who was also a noble, was 
not ashamed to revenge himself for an indignity, not only on an 
old man, his Sovereign, but on a young wife who had broken 
vows, for his sake. Michele Steno was already a Chief of the 
Forty, and he lived to be a greatly respected Doge. It was 
felt by the wise men of Venice that his delinquency counted 
for little more than an ebullition of young blood in a man of 
promise, and need not be severely punished. So a third and, 
in his own eyes, a superlative insult, was offered to the Doge, 
by the condemnation of Michele Steno and the other adoles- 
centali nobiles, who had behaved themselves objectionably at 
the ball, to imprisonment for one month and the payment of 
a small fine to the Republic. 

It is not to be thought that Marino Faliero accepted the 
elective office of supreme magistrate of his country with the 
dehberate intention of subverting the laws and raising himself 
to the position of an autocratic Monarch. Neverthless, he had 


grand ideas of his own dignity, and there was ever less in him 
of the trained Venetian inclination towards law-worship than 
of the more primitive Italian instinct for tyranny. The cold 
and calculating manner in which Venetian magistrates adminis- 
tered the law was in itself an offence to him, and he could 
not hold, as an almost contemporary historian of his fate did, 
that " the grave wisdom of a Doge was bound to disregard 
the levity of youth and acquiesce in the decision of the govern- 
ment of his city." On the contrary, he felt that a Doge was no 
Doge who could not insist on the punishment of an insult to his 
state, and who had to abide by decisions of cold lookers-on at 
the contumely inflicted on him, andto submit to judgments of 
councils of men, jealous, every one of them, of any immunity 
or prerogative that might possibly be imputed to his office, 
or bestowed upon him personally. 

There were others in Venice who writhed under treatment 
by individuals among the nobles, if not, as Faliero did, under 
the decisions of the patricians as a body. One of these, 
Gisello, the Ammiraglio or Foreman-Manager of the workmen 
at the Arsenal, an official of much popularity, had been struck 
in the mouth and wounded with a great ring, by Marco Barbaro, 
a high-born member of the Great Council. Another person 
of plebeian condition, Bertuccio Isarello, a master of a ship, 
had also had to take blows in the course of a dispute with a 
great personage (Giovanni Dandolo) in the office of armaments 
on the ground-floor of the Ducal Palace. On account of these 
events, Gisello obtained access to the Doge and begged his 
assistance in suppressing such acts of violence. Gisello com- 
plained that the pride of the Councillors was joined to so niuch 
self-will that they meddled with things they had no under- 
standing of, and used harsh methods of enforcing their ideas. 
The complaint of Bertuccio Isarello was even more contemptu- 
ous, though veiled with a certain grace. He said that it had 
become necessary to put a bound to so much noble insolence, 
otherwise the poor people would be considered fair game for 
eveyy kind of maltreatment. The Doge was sympathetic with 
the views of both men, but remarked bitterly that the preponder- 
ance of the power of the nobility would keep matters always 
the same. Even he, the Doge, could not obtain justice, as 


the case of Michele Steno had proved. Gisello took courage 
at this, and muttered between his teeth, " But malignant 
beasts may be tied up, and, if not tied up, knocked on the 

Then FaUero knew with what kind of man he had to do. 
He knew also that Gisello counted the opportunity ripe for the 
execution of his designs. There was further introduced to 
the ducal presence, Filippo Calendario, who was certainly a 
sculptor or lapidary, though not perhaps the architect of the 
reconstructions then going on in the Ducal Palace, as has been 
surmised. Another Faliero and a nephew of the Doge was also 
found to be a conspirator, or in the disposition to be made 
one. So a plot was formed to overturn the rule of the Great 
Council, the Forty and the Ten, and to acclaim Marino 
Faliero the Prince of Venice. Yet only a few of the conspira- 
tors guessed that the Doge himself had an active part in their 
plot, and to disarm all suspicions, Faliero publicly repri- 
manded GiseUo for a sudden outburst on the Piazza, when he 
had inveighed against his enemy Barbaro. A further scheme 
to popularize the step about to be taken, and to bring into 
disrepute the great families of Venice, was also acted upon. 
Bands of plebeian youths, partly in mockery of the ways of 
patrician gallants, terrorized the city at night, by charging 
through the streets, shouting out insults to women of their 
own class, and calling each other by honoured and aristocratic 
names. Some of these were arrested on the 8th of April, 
and quiet returning with their detention, it was thought that 
all danger from rioting and popular ferment had been averted. 

But on Thursday, 15th April, the uproar started again. 
The leaders of the conspiracy awaited with their followers, 
each in his own place, for the signal to begin the fight. 
The appointed sign was the ringing of the Campana and 
the passing from mouth to mouth of the word that the 
Genoese fleet was in the gulf and threatening to enter the port. 
At this word, it was well known, all the nobles — patriotic to a 
man — would come running to the Piazza, where they were to 
be strangled one by one, amid cries of Long live Prince Faliero I 

There was, however, one tradesman-conspirator — Bel- 
trame, a furrier — who wished to save a generous patron, 


named Nicolo Lioni, and who went to him on the night of the 
14th of April to pass him a hint. Lioni repaired instantly to 
the Doge, who had been in no way implicated by Beltrame's 
half -confession. Faliero affected to treat the affair as a joke, 
and Lioni, a little chagrined and far from satisfied, fetched two 
Councillors — Giovanni Gradenigo and Marco Corner — who 
both became Doges later. These statesmen further questioned 
the now thoroughly frightened Beltrame. Simultaneously, 
revelations were made by another traitor of weak knees to two 
members of the family of Contarini. Information was given 
secretly to the Captains of the Ten, by whom the Privy Council, 
the Avogadori, the Forty, the Signori di notte and all the 
other guardians and executants of the law, saving only the 
two called Faliero, uncle and nephew, were summoned to a 
meeting of urgency. 

After some deliberation, the immediate arrest of Calendario 
was ordered. Upon the result of his examination, many other 
arrests, including that of the Doge, were carried out about 
the time fixed for the popular rising and the proclamation of 
the new Prince. Then instead of cries of Viva il principe 
Faliero being raised as the conspirators stabbed defenceless 
nobles with knives, there were only mutterings and an ominous 
silence from the crowd. Such revolutionaries as ventured on 
to the Piazza found there the doughty Marco Comer in com- 
mand of a large force of armed citizens, who were later re- 
inforced by fighting-men from Chioggia. 

Justice was swiftly executed. The first hints of informa- 
tion of the plot had been given on the evening of the 14th of 
April. On the morning of the i8th, Messer Marino Faliero, 
Doge, was beheaded within the courtyard of his palace, at the 
top of the stone steps, later replaced by the magnificent Scala 
dei Giganti. It wels the spot from which he and some earlier 
Doges had sworn to the ducal Promissione, and where many 
later rulers of Venice were crowned. The ceremonial of 
the execution was both stately and pathetic. It cannot be 
better described than in the exact words of one of the most 
critical of the English historians of Venice :^ — 

" The Doge was ushered from his own apartments to the 

^ Mr. F. C. Hodgson. 








(1. , 



hall of the Great Council, where the body that judged him, led 
by Giovanni Mocenigo, the senior of the six councillors, met 
him, and led the way to the staircase that descended from the hall 
to the gallery over the courtyard. At the head of this staircase 
the ducal biretta was taken off with the other insignia of his 
office, and in a plain round cap and a black close-fitting robe he 
was led down the stairs and along the gallery to the platform 
at the head of the next staircase that led from the gallery down 
into the courtyard. He spoke a few words to the assembled 
people, asking their pardon and acknowledging the justice of 
his punishment, and then his head was struck off with a single 
blow. The doors of the palace were kept shut during the 
execution, but when the headsman had come out on to the 
loggia and shown his blood-stained sword to the people outside, 
the doors were thrown open, and the people rushed in to see 
the punishment that had been inflicted on treason. His body 
and the severed head were laid on a mat in the Sala del Piovega, 
and next morning were sent in a chest to Santi Giovanni e 
Paolo, where they were buried at the back of the monastery by 
the side of the entry to the cloister. There they were found 
early in the last century, the head lying between the knees, in a 
chapel of the Scuola di San Marco." 

The ceremony was not quite so accurately, but certainly 
more pictmresquely described at the time, by one who had not 
been present at it, but who knew Venice and the Venetians 
well. " In a most famous place," wrote Petrarch, "... to 
which his forerunners had often brought home in triumphal 
procession the gladdest honours, he, dragged in servile fashion 
by a concourse of people, and stripped of the insignia of a Doge, 
fell down a headless corpse, and stained with his blood the 
doors of the church, the entrance of his palace, and the marble 
stairs often made glorious by solemn feasts or the spoils of 
enemies." And Petrarch proceeded : " As regards the unhappy 
man, I am both compassionate and indignant ; honoured as he 
was, I know not what he could have desired at the end of a long 
life. His misfortune is aggravated by the fact that, according 
to the tradition of public judgment, he will be held to have been 
not only miserable but mad, and to have for so many years 
obtained by vain acts an undeserved reputation for wisdom. 


Those who are for a time Doges, I would warn to study the 
mirror set before their eyes, that they may see in it that they 
are leaders not lords, nay, not even leaders, but honoured 
servants of the State." 

It was indeed as Petrarch said. At least one early his- 
torian of the period explains the defection of Faliero by the 
statement that he was obsessed by devils. 

And the aristocrats of Venice — those at least who were not 
immediate candidates for the Dogeship — ^became more than 
ever determined that their supreme officer should be no longer 
their leader, but only their servant, upon whom they deigned 
to heap honours. Empty honours Faliero thought them, 
since they exposed their wearer to envious insult and prevented 
him from defending his reputation. Even among the aristocrats, 
Faliero had not been alone in deeming the prescriptions of the 
oligarchy too stringent and oppressive to be borne. The assist- 
ants of this Doge in his frenzied struggle against the patrician 
domination had been recruited mainly from the plebeian orders, 
but there were in various parts of the Venetian Empire aristo- 
crats and of&cers who held that his views were just, and who 
believed that a man in any station has a right to such authority 
as he is capable of exercising. But the personal aggravations 
of Faliero and his impulsive temperament — if no worse faults 
in him — prevented any proper organization of his revolution, 
and left many supporters of his political views without oppor- 
tunity of showing their adherence either to him or to his 
theories of government. 

The two next Doges who were elected in Venice, though 
men of parts and character, had the true view of themselves 
as servants and not leaders of the State. 

Giovanni Gradenigo, who had been one of the Councillors 
called by Lioni to unravel the thread of conspiracy disclosed by 
Beltrame, was elected on 21st April ifdB^- This Gradenigo was 
second-cousin of the late Doge's wife, and grandson of Doge 
Giovanni Dandolo the Uncouth, whom he resembled in his 
slouching gait and clumsy manners. He was seventy years 
old at the time of his election, and had an enormous nose 
which got him the nickname of Nasone. His first task — a 
most grateful one to Doge and people alike — was the making 


of peace with Genoa and the Lords of Milan. But war came 
soon in another quarter. 

The King of Hungary, more intent than ever upon possess- 
ing Dalmatia, had come to the conclusion that that country 
could only be fought for on the soil of Italy. So he marched 
an army of overwhelming numbers through Friuli and, sacking 
towns of importance as he went along, encamped at last 
before the walls of Treviso. 

It was at this time that Francesco Carrara, a collateral, 
not a direct descendant of Anna Carrara, Doge Pietro 
Gradenigo's daughter, first reared head as an enemy of Venice, 
and fully entered upon his career of Italian tyrant on the 
approved pattern of that romance which is history selected 
and intensified, to make the blood of readers curdle. 

Among other manoeuvres, Francesco replied to the request 
of the Venetians to come to their aid, that it was his desire to 
continue in the good graces of the Doge, and although the 
coming of the King of Hungary with so great an army had 
roused his worst apprehensions, he trusted, nevertheless, to 
do nothing inconvenient. Then he made overtures to the 
Hungarians for an alliance, and, even as he did sp, sent to 
Venice terms so exorbitant as the price of his support of his 
family's old ally and protector, that they could but be refused. 
But before the strife became active between Venice and 
Padua, Doge Giovanni Gradenigo died. " He was a man of 
perfect cognition of the laws, which he desired to have strictly 
observed," was the approving comment on him of a Venetian. 

Giovanni Delfino, who then succeeded, was one of three 
Proveditori in Treviso sent there to assist the Podesta in the 
defence of the city against the Hungarians. A polite mission 
was dispatched to King Louis in his camp, to ask for a safe- 
conduct for the Doge-elect. It is said that the unexpected 
courtesy of the messengers of the Republic surprised the 
Monarch into granting their demand. Delfino, apprised of 
his election, determined, however, to take no chances. He 
rode out of the besieged city for a sortie which he headed ; 
then cut his way to Mestre, where the customary deputation 
of twelve nobles met him. These, with his Trevisan train of 
one hundred horsemen and two hundred foot-soldiers, brought 


him safely to Venice, where he made his solemn entry, pre- 
sumably in the Bucintoro, on 25th August 1356. The popular 
applause, always bestowed upon personal courage, greeted 
him in the capital. 

Doge Delfino was indeed of a bold and soldierlike nature, 
and in the deliberations concerning the prosecution of the 
war with Hungary was on the side of the fighters. This was, 
perhaps, what might have been expected, considering that 
the loss of Dalmatia must deprive the Head of the Venetian 
State of the titles of Doge of Dalmatia and Croatia. Venice 
clung to these designations as she still clung to the name of 
Lord of one-half and a quarter of the Roman Empire, although 
the numerous divisions and sub-divisions of territory in 
eastern Europe, and the increase in the number of colonizing 
nations, since the time of Enrico Dandolo, had left her 
with only the name of dominion over provinces which she 
had never really governed except by her influence in some 
of their chief centres. This vague influence, even when 
allied to a commercial administration in the ports of the 
country, could not in the fourteenth, as it had in the twelfth 
century, justify titles that betokened a complete subjugation 
of the lands. But in Dalmatia the rule of the Venetians, 
although finishing where it began, at the seaboard, had not 
been vague. They had exercised there a true authority, 
both political and commercial, and it was hard to give this up. 
It w£is hard also to surrender the acres of teeming population, 
whence hardy sea-dogs were drawn to man Venetian fleets, 
and to forfeit miles of forests, where wood was cut to make 
Venetian ships. 

All the arguments of those of the war -party who 
maintained that nothing but the disgrace of the cotmtry 
was to be gained by a peace, and who believed that by putting 
on a brave front their enemies would be bluffed into a fright 
of reserves of force, could not prevail against the advices of 
prudent ones of the Councils. These held that the expenses 
of the conflict, which had now lasted for two years, were too 
great, and that the forces of the Republic had better be 
employed, before it was too late, in defending Venice itself, 
and not in further fighting for foreign dominions. It was at 


last decided to accept the terms of peace proposed, which 
included renunciation of Dalmatia with all rights and titles 
appertaining to it, and the leaving of all partisans of the 
King of Hungary, in particular the Patriarch of Aquileia and 
Francesco Carrara, free from molestation. On the side of 
the Hungarians, it was agreed to surrender to the Venetians 
all the parts of the Trevisan country that had been occupied 
by their troops, together with Ceneda and Istria ; not to aid 
pirates in the Adriatic ; and to guarantee to Venice security 
and liberty of commerce in Dalmatian ports. It was further 
promised by both parties that should discussions arise 
concerning any infringements of the treaty, they should be 
referred to the Pope. 

Innocent vi now held court at Avignon. He had long 
wished to bring about the cessation of wars between Christian 
nations, and to join Venice with the King of Cyprus and the 
Knights of Rhodes in yet another Crusade. His advices and 
entreaties had no doubt largely influenced the Venetians 
to make an end of fighting. It was appropriate, therefore, 
that he should be appointed arbitrator in case of further 

The whole history of the Venetian resistance of Hungary 
at this time, shows how much the authority of the Doge in 
Council had been reduced. Delfino's fiery demand for war 
was only a voice among many, and with ^the many he bowed 
to the ultimate decision of the majority. 

Stronger marks of the absence of the self-confidence and 
hauteur, which generally marks a state under monarchical 
government, were shown in another negotiation of Delfino's 
reign. This was the sudden and, as it seems from the accounts, 
the quite inconsequent decision of the Venetians to seek 
from the hands of the Emperor — Charles iv — confirmation 
of the rights of the Republic to the lordship of the Trevisan 
March. The treaties with the Archbishop Visconti, as 
Imperial Vicar, and with King Louis, were not deemed 
sufficient. For the moment, the " climbing down " policy 
that dictated the peace resulted in the lessening of the 
trust of the Republic in the strength of its own institutions 
and the virility of its own subjects. The mistake was 


made of asking a title of a Monarch who had never intimated 
his behef he had it to confer. There had been a long interval 
since anything like homage had been rendered by free Venice 
to an Imperial name. But the government that had held 
itself in the time of the Emperor Henry vii a quintessence, 
and proclaimed itself neither of the sea nor of the land, now, 
under the smart of its humiliation by Hungary and Padua, 
suddenly believed itself too proud to accept dominion of new 
ptovinces, except at the hand of the highest over-lord among 
the rulers of Europe. 

The three ambassadors sent to obtain the Imperial grant 
were Lorenzo Celsi, a man of a truly haughty demeanour 
and grand air, who yet could practise the art of patience, 
Marco Corner and Giovanni Gradenigo. The pretensions of the 
Emperor, as might have been expected by those whose injudici- 
ous request excited in him excessive ideas of his own powers, 
were so great that Corner and Gradenigo had to be recalled to 
Venice. Celsi, probably at his own request, remained to see 
what he and time could do to move the benevolence of Charles. 
It would have been better for Comer and his companion, had 
they not so soon departed. Passing through the territory of 
the Duke of Austria, they were imprisoned in the castle of the 
Seneschals of Osterwitz, who were vassals of the King of 
Hungary. Here they remained for fully a year. The news of 
their detention, in defiance of all the laws of national courtesy, 
disturbed the Venetians not a little. Even more disturbed 
was the Emperor Charles. It was represented to the Duke 
of Austria that the obligation was on him to effect the release 
of the captives. 

The Emperor, probably at the suggestion of Celsi, reminded 
the Austrian prince that Venice had always been a good friend 
to Germany. In the course of the negotiations Charles seems 
to have become more generally gracious to the Republic, and 
to have provided a special escort for Lorenzo Celsi when he at 
last left the Court. 

Whatever were the actual benefits obtained of the Emperor 
by Celsi, the Republic considered him a servant to be rewarded. 
He was made Captain of the Gulf — an office of charge and 
dignity — and dispatched with some commission to Candia. 


He was still on this island at the time of the death of Doge 
Giovanni Delfino. 

When the electors met to choose the new Doge, they had 
many names before them ; among them Marco Comer, still a 
prisoner at Osterwitz, and Andrea Contarini, a Procurator of 
St. Mark, who may then have been actually offered the biretta, 
since in the course of his life he refused it three times. 
Although absolute secrecy concerning their deliberations was 
enjoined by law, it is possible that the difficulty of obtaining 
sufficient votes for a nomination became known. In any 
case, partizans of Lorenzo Celsi, who was not a member of the 
highest nobility though he had served his coimtry in the 
manner of a noble, circulated the report that the Captain of 
the Gulf was returning from Candia with the prize of a flotilla 
of Genoese corsairs. This decided a sufficient number of the 
electors to vote for the hero of the hour, and when, a little 
later, the news was foimd to be false, it was reflected that 
Celsi had done other good services to the State, so his election 
was adhered to. 

The Republic had again a Doge who had no idea of fettering 
his own volition with laws and constitutions, but who, never- 
theless, meant to do his utmost to make Venetians and their 
leader respected. He was a bold man to take his own course 
so near to the time when a Doge had lost his head because of 
his contempt for rules and provisions of government. But 
Lorenzo Celsi was guiltless of any treasonable designs. He 
simply had the instinct to move freely and to exercise his 
■authority, and he followed his instinct fearlessly. According 
to some critics, he was both arrogant and vain. Yet his 
love of state and consequence just escaped being vanity. 
His high-handed exercise of such prerogatives as were left to 
his ofi&ce was not without worthy design. 

It is curious that the first, if not the only Venetian who 
sought in his lifetime to deprive Celsi of a privilege, was his 
own father. This one — Marco Celsi — had an objection to 
bow before his son, and refused to do him pubhc reverence. 
The difficulty was surmounted by Doge Lorenzo, in a way that 
showed at once his care for the dignities of his state and his 
consideration of natural human feehng. To the jewels already 


adorning the ducal biretta he added in front a crucifix, to 
which the old man could but incline with respect and devotion 
when he met his son in his habiliments of office. 

A lover of horses and falconry, Doge Celsi was celebrated 
also for his collections of stuffed and embalmed birds. He was 
a little scientific in his tastes, and his passion for sport was not 
gratified to an extent to interfere with public business. Of his 
talents as a horseman, he made full use for the increase of 
ducal dignity in the head of a State that had now strong 
military pretensions. He desired to encourage horsemanship. 
It would be a common remark in his time that much of the 
advantage of the Hungarians in their conflicts with Itahans 
came from their superiority in mounted troops. The Hun- 
garians then, as now, were prominent among nations for their 
success in horse-breeding and their delight in riding. 

For some time past the horse had been considerably used 
in Venice, and the whole of the ground-floor of the palace 
that fronted on the Piazzetta was given up to stables. Not 
only for the Doge and his attendants were horses kept, but 
" six beautiful coursers " were maintained for the use of any- 
one who had done conspicuous service to the State. 

Perhaps the imposing appearance of Giovanni Delfino's 
approach to Venice with his escort of cavalry may have 
suggested to Celsi that by riding to St. Mark's from a riva 
distant from that of the Schiavoni, he would create a grander 
impression when he made his state entry, than by coming in the 
old way to the Piazzetta on the Bucintoro. It was opportunity 
also to display his fine figure and regal air from the saddle. 
His stud of horses at the palace came to be remarkable. We 
may imagine that he had not returned from Candia without 
bringing some animals of Arab stock for the ducal stables. 
Occasions for further showing off of his horsemanship were 
many in his reign. He had not long taken his oath when 
it became known in Venice that the Duke of Austria was 
approaching the lagoons with a large retinue. At first 
the idea spread that he was coming to give battle, but an 
ambassador sent to meet him at Treviso returned with the 
news that his visit was one of compliment, and that with his 
train of thirty cavalieri and two hundred nobles, he had 


brought also the long-imprisoned Venetians, Marco Corner and 
Giovanni Gradenigo. 

Then was great preparation made for an honourable 
reception of the Austrian. Splendidly decorated barges were 
sent to convey him and his suite from Treviso, by the river 
SUe, to the lagoon where, at San Giacomo di Paludo, the Doge 
with a number of the Venetian nobility awaited him in the 
Bucintoro. In the days that followed there was constantly 
to be seen in Venice the sight of two great princes riding 
side by side ; going hither and thither to view places of 
interest and to inspect institutions of governmental or 
ecclesiastical foundation. 

After the Duke of Austria came Pietro Lusignano, King 
of Cyprus, who was treated equally well. This monarch 
was on the way to France to rouse a crusade against the 
Turks, in which he hoped to gain also the concurrence of 
Edward of England and of some of the princes of Germany. 

The principal event of Celsi's reign was the war in Candia. 
Revolting in the latter part of 1361, it was June 1364 before 
quiet was restored there, and fStes were held in Venice to 
celebrate the submission of the island. The Doge took no 
active part in the war, but his knowledge of the situation in 
Candia from personal observation of it, must have been of 
use to the Republic. He was a man who got his way even 
in assemblies of trained speakers. One cannot doubt that it 
was more upon his suggestion than from the spontaneous 
wish of the patricians in general, that the Republic intervened 
to break off a projected marriage between the daughter of 
the Duke of the Archipelago and a brother of the Archbishop 
of Patrasso, for whom was substituted as bridegroom for the 
Grecian princess the son of Doge Celsi himself. 

Driven by the plague from the home he had made for 
himself in Padua, Petrarch came again in Celsi's reign to 
a city which had not only the advantage of being blown across 
by sea winds, but which possessed the best sanitary adminis- 
tration of the time. His intention in establishing himself in 
the house with the two towers on the Riva dei Schiavoni 
was only to be quiet there. But the sight of the shipping 
from his windows, and the invitations of the Doge, tempted 


him to some social studies he had not thought to prosecute. 
His letters describing the coming of the news of the victory 
in Crete of the Veronese condottier Dal Verme, and the Tourna- 
ment held to celebrate the subjection of Candia, are incident 
to the story of Lorenzo Celsi, as the following sentences show : — 

" I was standing at my window, looking at the expanse 
of sea that stretches from before me . . . when behold of 
a sudden one of these long ships they call galleys, garlanded 
with green boughs, draws near, and, being rowed at fuU 
speed, enters the harbour. . . . Advancing so fast, with sails 
swollen by the wind, it showed us the joj^ul faces of its sailors 
and a band of youths crowned with green leaves, with smiling 
faces, waving over their heads their banners, saluted from 
their prow their victorious country, as yet ignorant of her 

Signals of this ship's arrival having flown from the watch- 
tOwers, there was great crowding to the river, and Petrarch 
further related that the sight of the enemy's flags, hung at 
the galley's prow, announced a victory. " It was thought 
some battle had been won or some city taken : no one dared 
to hope the war was ended till the messengers had landed 
and told all the news to the Council." And then we have 
the particular account of Celsi's reception of the glad in- 

" When he heard the tidings the Doge Lorenzo — to whose 
grandeur the name of Celso well corresponds for his magna- 
nimity, his courtesy and every noble virtue, but, above all, 
for his religious piety and memorable love to his country — 
wished to offer solemn thanks to God, with all his people, 
by a splendid ceremony, especially in the basilica of St. Mark 
the Evangelist, than which there is nothing, I believe, on 
earth more beautiful." 

In regard to the assemblage on the Piazza for the great 
Tournament, Petrarch's words are also memorable : — 

" No sex, no age, no condition was wanting. The Doge 
with a numerous suite occupied the front of the temple, 
over the vestibule, and where from the marble balcony he 
could behold the sparkling world at his feet." The site was 
approximately where stand the four horses of gilded bronze. 


" works of ancient and superlative artifice," so lifelike that 
" one seems almost to hear their stamping and neighing." 

In order that the setting sun at evening should not dazzle 
the eyes with its splendour, Petrarch noted that there was 
provided an awning of richly coloured tapestries. " I myself," 
he wrote on, " by invitation (and such is the frequent act 
of graciousness of the Doge towards me) was appointed to 
sit upon his right hand. The Grand Piazza, the church 
itself, the towers, the roofs, the portico^, the windows, were 
all not only full but overrunning with people. Facing the 
church, a magnificent gallery had been erected for the matrons 
of Venice, who, to the number of four hundred, adorned and 
brightened the festival." 

Petrarch's account concludes with the statements that 
certain Englishmen, relatives of the British King, happening 
to be then in Venice, took part in the jousts. Besides these 
notables, King Peter of Cyprus also entered into mock combat 
with a son of the Condottier — Victor Dal Verme. 

All the foreigners present, so Petrarch declared, were 
stunned by the sight of so much magnificence ; and most 
magnificent of all the sights was Doge Lorenzo Celsi, who 
knew so well how to enhance the dignity and state of his 
office by his own grand manner and handsome presence. 

It had been ever Celsi's policy to magnify his office, 
and the Promissione of his successor contained a clause bind- 
ing the Doge never to surpass the limits of the laws pre- 
scribed. Endeavours of a few envious to make out against 
Celsi, after his death, a case of having subverted the con- 
stitution as distinctly as Faliero had done, proved unsuccess- 
ful, and a special decree of the Council of Ten absolved 
Lorenzo Celsi from all suspicion of having attempted anything 
against the honour of Venice. Moreover, the new Doge, after 
his enthronement, made a public declaration that any accusa- 
tions to the contrary were gross calumnies. 



A.D. 1365 TO I4I4 

THE name of Marco Corner (or Comaro) is already 
familiar. He was a long-tried servant of the State, 
but upon his election objections were raised to his 
proclamation because he had married a plebeian, and had a 
number of plebeian relatives. 

A member of the Delfino family drew a picture of the terrible 
consequences that would follow an invasion of the ducal house- 
hold by a horde of inferior persons, who might pr> into affairs 
of state, ascertain secrets of government and commit depreda- 
tions on good manners and judicial integrity. The graphic 
arguments of Delfino had their effect in an assembly of 
patricians, all anxious to preserve their order pure and to 
keep the political administration in their own hands. 

Opposition to Comer was also offered on three other heads : 
firstly, his great age ; secondly, his poverty ; and thirdly, 
his close friendships with many foreign princes. 

To aU of these objections, to which, after they had been 
submitted to him in writing, it was the right of the Doge-elect 
to reply before the fuU conclave of the Forty-One, Comer 
responded with simple dignity and direct statement. He weis 
undoubtedly aged, he said, but still in the service of the Republic 
and disposed and ready to continue that service. His poverty 
should be counted rather an advantage than a disadvantage, 
since it proved his long integrity in many ofl&ces ; besides, in 
his mode of living, his dress and his house, he had always 
preserved decency without profusion or show, and used his 

patrimony judiciously. As to his friendships with princes, 



when he searched into their origins, occasions and ends, he found 
he had contracted them all, when sent to their courts as Am- 
bassador, and, one and all, redounded to the benefit, not to the 
damage of his country. " And if," he continued with warmth, 
" I behaved myself before those princes with so much deference 
and so courteously that they have remained my friends and bear 
me good will, is that to be ascribed to me as infamy ? No, by the 
love of God, if good be so blasphemed, what will ever evil be ? " 
Then in defence of " Madonna Caterina," his wife, and her 
family. Comer spoke grandly. 

He was not alone in having taken a wife of the people, yet 
for him alone such a step was to be counted as a sin ! How 
cotild his marriage point to lack of love and zeal for his country, 
in himself ? What should he say in regard to Caterina's 
relatives ? Every one knew them and every one was aware 
that they were the inferiors of none in the sincerity of their 
faith and in their affectionate reverence for their beloved city. 
Using the imagery suggested by a common phenomenon of the 
marshes which characterizes Venetian landscape, Comaro be- 
sought the Forty-One not to be frightened by the spectres that 
had been conjured up to warn them against him ; but rather, 
he said, " in the spirit of Truth, and by the light of your own 
judgments, understand that it has happened to you, as it 
happens to those who sometimes in the summer see f antoms 
rising against the sky, and then the sun consumes, and the wind 
dissolves, puts to fhght and disperses them." Dropping meta- 
phor, he referred again directly to his wife, although hesitating 
to speak of her, because he did not wish it to be said that he 
praised things of his own. " But I teU you solemnly," he 
concluded, " that for propriety of behaviour, for goodness, for 
diligence and prudence in household management, for courtesy 
and all knowledge of etiquette and proper speech, she is second 
to none. With all this," he added," I am and will be always 
the servant of you aU, my lords, and my desire will be to do only 
that which is pleasing to you." 

By their very sincerity, the words of the greybeard 
triumphed, and with twenty-six votes in his favour, he 
became Doge on Monday, 21st July 1365. Certain provisions 
were made that may be regarded as compromises between his 


supporters and opposers. Marco Comer's Promissione con- 
tained the corrections that the Doge should be obliged, when- 
ever it should be the will of the six privy councillors and 
of the majority of the Grand CouncU, to abdicate the throne 
and quit the . Ducal Palace at three days' notice, under 
penalty of Confiscation of his property. On his side, however, 
the ducal dignity could not be renounced without the ante- 
cedent consent of the Council. Further, the Avogadori were 
to watch that his household consisted of the prescribed number 
of persons, who were to be obliged to reside in the palace ; 
while the bills for their clothing and other necessaries were to 
be constantly submitted to appointed overseers. If found to 
be more than a month owing, their amount was to be stopped 
out of the Doge's salary. It was further ordered that any 
member of the Dogaressa's family being found armed in the 
palace after the ringing of the third campana — unless upon the 
business of the Doge — should be condemned in the same way 
that any other citizen would be for the like offence. 

Under pressure of the idea that a Doge of limited private 
means would probably make extraordinary drafts on the public 
funds, Marco Comer was also prohibited from spending more 
than 100 lire de piccoli a year on embellishments of the palace, 
and it is one sign of his particular carefulness that, in spite of 
this prohibition, it was he who began the building of the pillared 
fagade to the Grand Canal, and that, during his short reign, 
great progress was made in the adornment of the new Great 
Council Chamber. Among the decorations begun or carried 
out by the direction of Doge Corner, were frescoes represent- 
ing the story of Doge Sebastiano Ziani, Pope Alexander iii 
and Frederick Barbarossa, and a series of portraits of all the 
Doges of Venice from the time of Beato de Antenori. 

The whole course of the ship of state during the reign of 
Doge Comer is indicative of the sagacity and moderatiori of 
the man at the helm. It was a time of peace. Quiet had been 
established in Crete, and there was that lull in European strifes 
that gave Pope Urban vi the courage to leave Avignon and 
reseat the papacy in Rome. The Venetians were among the 
Italian peoples who responded to the Pontiff's request to send 
to him at Marseilles an escort of ships of war. It was a4esir- 


able thing for Venice, politically as well as spiritually, that the 
Pope should return to Italy. Comer's policy was that of 
Venice. To a demand of the Duke of Savoy to join with him 
in an expedition, against the Turks, the Doge first gave refusal. 
Being pressed by the Conte di Virtu (Visconti), who came with 
the Duke to Venice, Comer and his Council eventually yielded 
to the extent of promising two galleys and a sum of money to 
be secured on the Island of Tenedo. At the same time, how- 
ever, trading terms were resumed with the Sultan of Alexandria. 
Venetian ambassadors had well argued before the Pope that 
the break in their commercial relations with Egypt had only 
irritated the African Turks without repressing them, and that 
the loss of income in consequence had made the ducal govern- 
ment less powerful to oppose the Turks' advance in Europe. 
The Pontiff's grace was obtained, and by a responsive grace 
of the Doge it was soon after decided to maintain at the papal 
court, at salaries of 200 ducats a year, two Venetian Cardinals. 

Marco Comer died, greatly honoured, after a three years' 
reign of prosperity. To him succeeded one of the inspiring 
charactert^of Venetian story. 

Andrea Contarini was a Doge who three times refused 
the biretta, but by the prayers of his family, the insistence 
of the Forty-One and the inexorability of Venetian law, was 
made to accept it in the end. The cause of his refusal seems 
to have been twofold. He had long been a public servant, 
but was a lover of rural pursuits and wished to spend his 
remaining days on his estate in the Paduan territory, under 
vines and fig-trees of his own cultivation. Any indulgence 
of personal taste or predilection to the neglect of civic 
responsibility was, ho^yever, too treasonable an act in the 
eyes of a Venetian aristocrat to have moved him to a deter- 
mined contempt of an honour offered to him, had it not been 
for a scruple which, it is curious to reflect, did not weigh 
with the electors, although it prevailed with himself. 

In the early days of his career, Andrea Contarini had been 
in Crete, and there some soothsaying woman had warned 
him that should be ever come to the head of his country's 
government, the land he reigned over would be plunged 
into great misery and misfortune. 


This prognostication, however, had not made his family 
fearful, and the announcement by a second deputation from 
the electors, that if he would not mount the throne he would 
be forthwith deprived of his property and banished from the 
Dogado, brought forth tears and prayers from his wife and 
children ; these, added to the resolution of the Government, 
conducted him at last, in state, to Venice and made him 
take the ducal oath, to which a special addition for him was 
that neither he, nor the Dogaressa, nor any child, nephew 
or niece of theirs, should ever acquire land in any foreign 
country or Venetian province outside the Dogado ; and that, 
possessing any ultra- Venetian land on his accession, it should, 
no matter to which member of the family it belonged, be 
promptly sold. So much for the country estate in the Paduan 
territory ! A Doge of Venice must have no thought or interest, 
present or prospective, for any place but Venice ; for any 
occupation but that of governing Venice. 

Nevertheless, the chosen head of the Signory was vested 
as a King. It was made obligatory for the Doge to assume 
a gold-embroidered mantle and his ducal coronet on all 
occasions of state. Celsi had added the crucifix to the 
already jewelled circlet, but this addition made it too heavy 
to be worn with comfort by any Doge lacking the extra- 
ordinary vigour of the Venetian " Lorenzo the Magnificent." 
It was enjoined, therefore, that the jewels of the crown should 
be rearranged and reduced in number, and the diadem 
placed in the charge of the Dean of St. Mark's, to be brought 
out and worn by the Doge at ceremonies. 

The first five years of Contarini's reign were fraught 
indeed with sorrows and dangers for the Republic, though 
the darkest hour came at the end. Trieste rebelled and 
Padua renewed her menaces of fortress and salt- work building 
on the confines of the Dogado. Both places were subdued, 
but a greater affliction remained, in a plot against the safety 
of the city and the lives of its distinguished citizens, formed by 
the agents of Carrara in Venice itself. The wily villain had 
sent to Venice, in the spring of 1372, a certain Friar Benedetto, 
who with two traitor-servants of Venice — a Morosini and a 
Molini, senators both — devised the deaths of the three nobles 


known to be most inveterate against Paduan pretensions. 
These three — a Dandolo, a Barbo and a Zane — seem all to 
have escaped, but the intentions of Friar Benedetto and 
other emissaries of Francesco Carrara were amply proved. The 
whole affair was hatched in the house of an aged procuress 
— a gobba or hunchback — and disclosed by two women 
of the town, who may have been as venal as was the 
beldame who trafficked in their shame. Some indications 
there are, however, that the abused creatures were not wholly 
wanton, and had at least more care for Venice and more 
tenderness for the lives of fellow-countrymen, than the 
recreant pregadi, Morosini and Molino. In any case, the 
plot was divulged by the women of ill-repute, and so freely 
spoken of by them and their associates, that the rumour of 
Carrara's design ran like wUd-fire through the city, blazing 
up into many a fiame of wild statement and desperate 
assertion. Venice was panic-stricken. Every infamy was 
believed of the Lord of Padua. He had had aU the wells 
poisoned. He had paid desperadoes to set Venice on fire. 
Extra guards were put on public buildings. Sentries were 
posted at the fountains. No one was allowed to go about 
armed, and special watch was set on the entrances to the city. 
The beheading of one Paduan emissary, the imprisonment for 
ten years of another, and the infliction of various punish- 
ments on many more, showed that Venice knew how to defend 
her own, and proved perhaps to the sufferers, the folly of 
indiscreet confidences to women of no virtue. The traitors 
learned too late that it was easier for women of Venice to 
sell themselves than to sell their country. 

But judicial defeats of Paduan policy had to be followed 
by victories at arms. Carrara had the help of the Hungarians 
under the Voivode of Transylvania, and the Venetians experi- 
enced one grave defeat at Fossa Nuova, followed by a scourge 
of malaria which decimated their forces. In the end, however, 
the Republic triumphed ; the finishing of the war was helped 
by intrigues against each other of members of the Carrara 
family. In these intrigues Venice had not been too proud to 
meddle. Their issue was the assassination of Francesco Carrara 
and the succession of another MarsUio. Peace was made at 


last by Pope Gregory xi, who greatly desired the hour of 
his return to Italy to be free from discords on the peninsula. 
Peace was indeed the dream of the hour, and the voice for the 
moment of the soul of Italy was that of an Orator of the 
Carrarese, who made a harangue before Doge Andrea Contarini 
in the Sala del Maggior Consiglio in favour of Peace. The 
Orator was Petrarch. 

Previous to his appearance in the palace, the Poet had 
assisted at the solemn ceremony before the altar of St. Mark, 
in which the young Carrara on his knees asked pardon of the 
Doge of Venice. Within a year of this ceremony, the writer 
of the sonnets to Laura passed for ever from the shifting scene 
of this world's politics. 

But Venice and Doge Contarini had to enter upon a war 
more horrible and alarming than any the Republic had yet 
had part in ; a war in which the enemy forced a way through 
the very gates of the lagoons, and seized the long-held fortress 
of Chioggia, that from its ridge of soil looked west and north 
to the mainland and the inmost islands. 

It was the old enemy, the rival sea-power Genoa, which thus 
penetrated into the fastnesses of the lagoon settlements, and 
brought shame upon the Venetian Government for its lack of 

The situation was indeed critical for Venice. Complaints 
and lamentations were loud, The city was on the verge of 
a panic of despair. But one man saved the situation. The 
septuagenarian Doge, Andrea Contarini, would not for a 
moment give expression to his fear. He could not have been 
as confident as he seemed. The promptitude and energy of 
his actions show that at heart he was well-nigh as desperate 
as those who quaked and chattered. The first shock over, 
only a few of these remained; they might have been many 
had Contarini's courage been less firm. The hour had come ; 
the hour he had been warned of. Fell calamity descended 
on the land he reigned over. The struggle was now between 
a man and his fate. Contarini bared his arm and raised 
his hand. 

It was the work of a few hours to bring together on the 
Piazza, an Arengo of the populace to whom, on behalf of the 


Doge whose voice was probably too weak to reach the ears of all 
assembled, Pietro Mocenigo spoke. 

Grave was the danger, he told the crowd. The time had 
come when it was incumbent on every man to arm himself in 
defence of home, wife and family. The nobles would prove 
themselves friends and brothers of the people. The rich would 
give to their country all the trade vessels and fleets they 
possessed, and in the hour of hunger which was already upon 
them, would share to the last crust with their poorer fellow- 
citizens. Mocenigo concluded the Doge's harangue with an 
appeal to patriots, not only to man galleys and handle pikes, 
but, in this time of their country's peril, to give the govern- 
ment their advice. 

The advice came with one voice : " To arms ! " 

The seizure of Chioggia had taken place on i6th August 
1379. It was not until 23rd December that Contarini issued 
his proclamation, commanding all who were to sail with his 
fighting fleet to Brondolo to be on their ships by noon, under 
penalty of death. The four months intervening had been 
filled with energetic action, and the determination and courage 
of the Doge had not for one moment faltered. Yet prepara- 
tions would have been hastened and the enemy given less time 
to provide against coming ravages of siege and attack, had 
not certain policies been followed and certain steps taken 
that were directly attributable to that hesitancy and desire for 
quiet which are the inalienable weaknesses of age. It is not 
to be supposed that the seventy-three year old Doge was quite 
alone within the Signory in thinking that negotiations might 
yet redeem Chioggia and revive Venice. It is safe to assert, 
however, that had Doge Contarini, in this day of his fame and 
favour, been a stalwart of fifty, free from all disposition for 
retirement and haunted by no predictions of calamity in his 
reign, his government had not attempted at the eleventh hour 
to affect a compromise with Genoa ; neither would it have 
ignored the popular wish to place Vettore Pisani at the head 
of the national forces, nor have made a lesser man — Taddeo 
Giustiniani — the Captain-General. 

Yet the sending to the Lord Francesco at Padua of 
a mission of peace which was referred by him to the Genoese 


Admiral — Doria — at Ghioggia, was a move not all unwise. The 
answer of the haughty Doria certainly proved to any yet 
unconvinced in Venice that only by a fight to the finish with 
the Genoese could the freedom of their state be preserved. 
Moreover, it fanned the flame of patriotic passion 'to white 
heat, and made conscription seem a small thing, because 
thrown into the balance against slavery. 

" By God's faith, my lords of Venice," cried Doria to the 
Doge's embassy, " ye shall have no peace from the Lord of 
Padua, nor from our Commune of Genoa, until I have put a 
bit into the mouths of the horses of your Evangelist St. Mark. 
When they have been bridled, you shall then, in sooth, have a 
good peace, and this is our purpose, and that of our Com- 

When the order passed for the release of Vettore Pisani, 
who had been condemned, after an unfortunate battle, for 
lack of prevision, he was met at his dungeon door by Michele 
Steno, now nearly seventy years of age. Steno, as Proveditor 
with Pisani's army, had been accused of abandoning a battle 
before it was fought out. For this he had been deprived 
of all his offices for the space of one year. Now he was to 
have the honour of sailing on one of the galleys that were 
to accompany Doge Contarini's vessel. 

" Viva II nostra Vettore! Viva Vettore Pisani!" the Venetians 
shouted as, shoulder high, they bore their hero to the Ducal 
Palace where he was awaited on the courtyard steps by 
Contarini and the Senators. 

" Viva San Marco !" was the pious and patriotic response 
of Pisani, and it has been written that by his own desire he 
was carried first to the Church of the Evangelist and after- 
wards presented before the Doge. From another chronicle 
we learn that " M. lo Dose," descending the staircase, took 
Pisani by the hand and led him into the church, where before 
the High Altar he gave him the gonfalon. It may well have 
been that both Doge and warrior performed together their 
devotions, before Contarini in the palace addressed Pisani 
in words that are full of the pride of Venice in the fourteenth 
century, although the historian Romanin calls them only 
" grave and affecting." 


Contaxini began by declaring the confidence of the govern- 
ment in Pisani's valour, which, so the Doge said, could not 
be more nobly exercised than in the defence of his country. 
The affection now demonstrated to Pisani by so many of 
his fellow-citizens, obliged the Doge to commit to obhvion 
every past happening, and to devote all his ardour to showing 
by deeds that he placed the good of the Republic before 
private resentments. " Repair your wise conduct which 
has suffered damage," the Doge continued, " and be revenged 
not for the insiilt which you may believe was put upon you 
by our justice, but for that which our country has received 
from the victorious enemy, and rather endeavour to remind 
yourself of the present grace than of the past justice, which 
may now be belied, since fortune is giving you this good 
occasion in which by victory over the enemy you may dis- 
credit the accusations of the past, and make your country 
as much obhged to you as you yourself are now beholden 
to it." 

To the ducal exhortation, the enlarged prisoner replied 
shortly that he had always accommodated himself to public 
deliberations and had always reverenced public decrees ; 
that he wished neither to lament over nor to recall past 
circumstances, but only to endeavour by actions worthy of 
so great a country, to fulfil the task with which he had just 
been honoured. 

This task, so it transpired, was the protection of the 
Lido, and when the news flew that the hero had been granted 
only a subordinate command, there was turbulence indeed 
in Venice, and, as if from the opening earth, conspirators 
sprang up to tempt Pisani to assume the dictatorship of the 
city and proclaim himself the Prince. For such as these 
Pisani employed the arguments of right-hand blows. 

" Let none who wish me well say Viva Pisani," he said, 
" but Viva San Marco." 

With those, however, who volunteered for service in the 
army under him he used a different method. " Brethren 
and friends, go to the Signory, they wiU counsel you what 
to do," he said to them. But the volunteers threw down 
their banners, and, tramphng them under foot, declared they 


would take commands from none but Pisani. So the appoint- 
ment of Giustiniani was cancelled, and the Doge made the 
people's hero his Admiral and Vice-Captain-General. 

The going of the aged Contarini to the very forefront of 
the battle had the most inspiring effect. It was winter and 
the weather cold and raw. The mists lay on the lagoons; 
and it required some courage, not alone to sail forth, but 
to remain within the area of sharp contest. It was the plan 
of Pisani to hem the Genoese in within their own lines and to 
cut off supplies by sea and land. The entrances to the lagoon 
at Malamocco and San Antonio were already closed by 
sunken vessels piled with stones. It remained to block up 
the Lombardy Canal and the straits of Chioggia and Brondolo. 
This was accomplished by men up to their waists in water, 
and in imminent danger either of being drowned or shot. 
Even on the first day — 24th December — there were many 
who regarded the position as hopeless, and more who felt 
the suffering and hardship of the winter siege in galleys and 
other cockle-craft to be past bearing. Disaffection spread 
and a mutiny threatened. The exposure was severely trying 
to the Doge, but he responded at once to the prayer of his 
Admiral to take oath upon his sword : "I, who am nearing 
my eightieth year, will rather die than return without victory." 

All this happened on Christmas Day, and the troops 
and seamen were heartened by it. But food was scarce on 
the galleys. Disease was breaking out. On the watch-tower 
of St. Mark, men looked eagerly for the return from foreign 
parts of the great Admiral Carlo Zeno, with whom was the 
pride of the Venetian fleet. They scanned the horizon 
anxiously, too, for Genoese reinforcements. 

On the first day of the year 1380 a flight of sails was at 
last descried. On they came. Were they friends or foes ? 
Eighteen ships in all. Nearer at last, and the Lion of St. 
Mark floating above them. It was Carlo Zeno. 

Yet with all the combined forces of Venice, and with the 
Doge ever on his flag-ship to reconcile disputing English, 
German and Italian troops in the pay of the Republic, to 
shame skulkers and to encourage patriots, Chioggia was not 
won back for six more months. 


During that time Contarini, wearying of the long strain 
and mindful that as an actual fighting engine no man of 
seventy-four can be quite efficient, wrote one letter at least 
to the provisional government, only eighteen miles away on 
Rialto, to ask leave to return. The Signory answered him 
with compliments and a suave disregard of any specific request. 
The councillors of the Doge knew better than the Doge himself 
the inspirational and cohesive value of his presence at the 
front. The full might and majesty of Venice had to be arrayed 
in the place where the intruders on the national domesticity 
and the destroyers of the national safety and peace had drawn 
themselves up for menace and attack. 

On the 24th of June the Doge's long waiting at the place of 
battle was rewarded by the fall of Chioggia and the delivery 
of 4440 captives — most of them emaciated and cadaverous — 
into his hands. He made a triumphal entry and planted the 
Lion of St. Mark on the Chioggian campanile. Then in the 
hastily prepared Bucintoro, a hundred rowers brought him 
from San Clemente to the Piazzetta, where he landed on 
30th June. So great was the concourse of people there to 
welcome him that only with the utmost difficulty was a way 
cleared for his passage to the great basilica, where Mass was 
sung to celebrate the merciful deliverance of the Republic. 

Seven weeks later it became the solemn and pitiable duty 
of Doge Contarini to head the great throng of mourners that 
followed Vettore Pisani, stricken down in the prime of his age 
— he was 55 — to his tomb in San Antonio. A few days later, 
28th August, and the great gonfalon of St. Mark was handed 
by the Doge with all ceremony to Carlo Zeno, appointed to 
succeed Pisani as Captain-General. Contarini himself lived 
on, an all but deified hero, until his seventy-eighth year. He 
was succeeded by Michele Morosini — a Procurator of St. 
Mark — who, in his own place and his own way, showed himself 
as courageous as the Doge, who at seventy-four made himself 
with the youngest and most insignificant of his army, a target 
for the enemy's bolts of war. In the time of the national 
dismay, when it seemed indeed that a bridle would be put on 
the horses of St. Mark, and when for the equipment of forces 
of war and other ends, property was being so freely sold, 


that it was thought none but a fool would buy, Morosini com- 
mitted, what chattering onlookers deemed the extreme foUy 
of purchasing from the government some houses belonging 
to the Commune, for 25,000 ducats. He had already given 
38,000 ducats to the loan raised from the citizens of Venice 
for the special war needs. But this peculiarly honourable, if 
half-forced, contribution, was better understood by the com- 
mercial Venetian than the payment of sound money for 
bad goods . To his face Morosini was twitted with his simplicity, 
and told he should have kept his ducats. 

The reply of the philanthropist-patriot, is ever memorable : 
" If this land come to ill, money is nothing to me." 

The spirit of that reply was the spirit that saved Venice, 
and the fact that, in later years, Morosini's purchases yielded 
at least a fourfold return is no reflection on his faith and 

Every man fights best with the weapons he has been 
trained to use. Morosini may have been accustomed to 
invest and deal in house-property. In any case, his profuse 
charities had won for him the name of " the Father of the Poor." 
That name he deserved also by coming to the aid of Venice in 
the time of her dire need, and by preventing for her children 
that panic which is caused by absolute stagnation of the 
property market. 

No Doge of Venice was ever more lauded, either in his 
lifetime, by his Forty-One electors and those who acclaimed 
him on the Piazza, or by historians of many centuries after 
his death. Yet Venice enjoyed the advantages of his admini- 
stration for less than a year. He was swept off by the plague 
on 15th October 1382. 

Four months passed before Doge Antonio Veniero was 
crowned and throned. A former governor of Tenedo, he was 
Governor of Crete at the time of his election, and communica- 
tions in the fourteenth century could not be flashed through 
air. When he did arrive on Rialto he lost no time in putting 
forth every effort to make his country, recently brought so low, 
both prosperous and potent. 

" Beginning with religion," so Romanin tells us, " he gave 
to the Carthusian fathers the Island of San Andrea near the 


Lido di S. Nicolo, where they built a noble church and 
monastery." Continuing his good work, Antonio Veniero 
caused Chioggia to be rebuilt and refortified, and, for the 
benefit of trade, he entered into various treaties with foreign 
princes, among them the Kings of England and Granada. 

Under this energetic and capable Doge the revival of 
commerce was extraordinary, and Venice came rapidly to a 
position of authority in the affairs of the Italian peninsula. 
Yet we may read the secret of his own pre-eminence and of the 
growing fame of the Republic, not so much in his outward and 
official acts of diplomacy and aggression, as in the habit and 
discipline of his mind, which enabled him to punish his own 
son with rigour and determination, for an offence hardly 
greater than that of Michele Steno at Marino Faliero's ball, 
which had long since been forgiven and forgotten. 

The story of Luigi Veniero's fault is, that having cherished 
a passion for a married woman of rank, and being by her 
discarded for another lover, he went, under cover of night, to 
the residence of her husband, Giovanni de Boccolis, a man of 
pompous respectability, and fixed up over his door a pair of 
horns, with underneath them a placard containing many 
scurrilous and indecent words, and referring by name not only to 
the wife but to the sister and the mother-in-law of Ser. Giovanni. 

To make matters worse for this abominably insulted 
personage, and for his wife, sister and mother-in-law too, 
the house so branded stood on the Holy Trinity bridge, and 
was bound to be observed by a great number of passers-by. 
De Boccolis, anxious rather for the punishment of the offender 
than for the suppression of the scandal, lodged a petition with 
the criminal court of the Forty, asking for the condemnation 
of Luigi Veniero to two months' imprisonment in one of the 
lower dimgeons, and to the payment of 100 ducats. Further- 
more, de Boccolis demanded that the recreant should be 
prohibited from entering the contrada of Holy Trinity, by 
land or by water, for ten years to come. 

The penalties thus proposed were exacted to the letter, 
with the addition, it would seem, of the term of Luigi's ex- 
clusion from the quarter where his horrid act was committed, 
being prescribed as for ever. Luigi was consigned to the 


dungeons, and thete falling ill he implored his father in letter 
after letter to grant him his release. It must have been 
clear, even to eyes scaled with official and technical prejudices, 
that but one end awaited the afflicted Luigi, were he left to 
finish his sentence as the law had decreed. But Doge Veniero 
was a Doge indeed. He would not, even for the life of his boy, 
go beyond the limits of his legal powers. No doubt he had felt 
his son's offence to be an outrage on his ducal and family 
honour, as well as on that of de Boccolis, but it seems to have 
been no personal feeling that made him inexorable. He let 
his son die miserably in his deep cell, firstly because he was too 
proud to claim a prerogative or even to exercise an influence 
as Doge, for the benefit of his own flesh and blood ; and, 
secondly, because as Doge, and so far as in him lay, he was 
determined to stamp out some of the vicious habits and 
braggart gallantries that were the all too common, because the 
all too fashionable, pastimes of the youth of his city. 

We cannot think that it did not go hard with the father 
when news of his son's death in gaol was brought to him. Yet 
there remains no word in Venetian record to tell us that he 
grieved. All that we know is that he had mastered the 
patrician task of sacrificing all private interests to public 
concerns, and that although his pride in his family was great, 
his pride in his of&ce was greater. Another son, Nicolo, he 
married to Petronilla Felicita, widow of a Duke of the Archi- 
pelago. His daughter he betrothed to a ten-year-old kinsman 
of that Duke. In making these alliances he was in danger 
of exceeding the spirit while keeping within the letter of the 
laws governing his position. His fellow-aristocrats appear to 
have been none too pleased with relationships which, although 
useful in some respects to communities of rank, have 
also many drawbacks. The whole question of inter- 
marriages between members of the ducal families of Venice 
and princes and princesses of other reigning houses, was 
settled on the death of Antonio Veniero by the insertion in 
the Promissione of Michele Steno of a clause prohibiting any 
wedding contracts for sons, daughters, or grandsons of a 
Venetian Doge with foreigners of any rank, except with the 
consent of the Forty and of the majority of the Great Council. 


It was an irony of fate assuredly that made the successor 
of a purist father who had treated without mercy his profligate 
son, to be none other than he who has remained through 
many centuries the very prototype in Venetian story of the 
raucous libertinism of untempered youth. 

That MiCHELE Steno had laboured through a long career 
of state service to blot out the scandal of his early profligacy 
and passion, and, despite a slackness on one occasion, had 
indeed made his dead self a stepping-stone to better things, 
is not to be gainsaid. Nevertheless, the turn of an election 
is often decided by a reaction of moral feeling, and it would 
seem that some thought passed in Venice that the severity 
of Veniero had been too inhmnan to be really good. It was 
believed that a certain amount of early laxity was more 
natural in a man than the rigidity of view and sentiment 
that could lead a father to consign his own son to an early 
death. Yet Steno on the throne, in his seventieth year, and 
the husband of a lady of religious principle and moral sensibility, 
was truly and really another man from Steno the gay bachelor 
and court-ruifler of twenty-three. The only characteristic 
that persisted was a certain fire of self-assertion ; a spirit that 
was never to be quenched, even by deluges of sarcasm and 

" WUl your Serenity be pleased to sit down and be quiet ? " 
were words impudently addressed to Doge Steno when, in his 
eighty-first year, he declared at a sitting of the Great Council 
that the Avogadori had no jurisdiction in the matter of a 
resolution formally put and carried, which these advocates 
desired to annul. The pert request had no effect upon 
Michele Steno's prosy eloquence. With all the loquacity of 
his years and temper, he continued to talk imtil he had ex- 
hausted his argupients. The Avogadori revenged themselves 
by formally pronouncing him guilty of a misdemeanour in 
haranguing against their opinions, and liable to a penalty 
therefor of 1000 lire. Three months passed, and nobody in 
the Government had the hardihood to put the legal sentence 
into execution. But Steno was not the man to accept an 
invidious position. Boldly he petitioned the CouncU " either 
to cite him before it or to rescind the sentence." This hot 


challenge was too much for officialdom. The advocates not 
only withdrew their censure and apologized, but caused to be 
drawn up by distinguished men of law, a long opinion in which 
it was asserted that the Doge had not exceeded his functions 
in expressing his views on the legality of the attempts of the 

Both retraction and apology were made to age, repute and 
personality, rather than to principle. 

The Promissione of Steno's successor provided against too 
much ducal commenting on legal sentences in the future. 

One can but admire Steno's last defiance of the authority 
of law and government. His fourteen years upon the throne 
had been years of state and magnificence. His stud of horses 
was as famous as that of Lorenzo Celsi, and his personal pride 
and gallant bearing had helped greatly to maintain the Signor- 
ial dignity. It was Doge Steno who received the final sur- 
render of Padua to Venetian dominance, and who condemned 
the last three members of the Carrara family, first to prisons, 
and then to deaths by strangulation. It was Steno too who 
undid the agreements between the truculent and deceptive 
Francesco Novello Carrara, and his son-in-law the illegitimate 
Niccolo d'Este of Ferrara, by virtue of which D'Este was to 
wrest Polesina from the Venetians, who held it as security for a 
loan made to him at a time when he was opposing the claims 
of his legitimate brother Azzo to the lordship of Ferrara. 

Francesco — called Novello to distinguish him from his more 
famous father, who came to be known as Francesco VeccMo — 
was the boy who had knelt at the feet of Doge Contarini when 
Petrarch, as Orator of Peace, stood by. But neither the cere- 
monial submission of that time, nor the contracts of a Treaty ^ 
made later, had served to make the Carrarese either a loyal 
friend or a peaceful ruler. Other plots of the character of the 
" Gobba " conspiracy had been attempted in Venice, and 
secret presents from the agents of Carrara had been offered to 
and accepted by Venetian law-officers and agents, aU of whom 
had been hanged for their treacheries between the red columns 
of the Ducal Palace. Hoping for Venetian clemency towards 
his son, the elder Francesco had resigned the lordship of Padua 

^.Treaty of_Turin. 

o ° 


in the younger's favour, and Novella, quite as active and deceit- 
ful, and even more daring than his father, had regained the 
friendships of several princes lost by Vecchio ; among them, 
that of the Doge of Venice. By the monetary help of Venice, 
Novella bought back from Milan all his former domains. To 
give thanks for this help he had knelt again in the Ducal 
Palace before a Doge (Veniero) ; this time having his own son 
with him. In giving thanks, Novella had declared himself and 
his family to be thenceforth devoted to the Doge of Venice, and 
evermore to be commanded by His Serenity. Graciously, 
Veniero had bidden him rise, embraced him and assured him 
of the friendship of the Republic. 

Yet in Doge Steno's time, when the Signory gave notice to 
the Lord Carrara that, by an arrangement with the Duchess of 
Milan, Venice was about to accept the submission of Vicenza, 
Francesco NoveUo cropped the ears and slit the nostrils of the 
trumpet sent to announce the fact, and capped his essay in grim 
humour with the remark, " Out of this trumpet we will make a 
lion of St. Mark." Reminded by the Signory of his obligations to 
Venice, and told that he had no right to object to the exercise of 
a lordship that had been volimtarily ceded, the Paduan rephed 
that he wondered much at the rashness of the Venetians who, 
although they had no rights on terra firma, dared to dictate laws 
to those who legitimately ruled there. " Let them go," he 
said, " and content themselves with their estuaries and swamps, 
and leave the empire of the land to those to whom it properly 

This new impertinence led to preparations for war in the 
true Venetian way. Mouths of rivers were fortified and 
palisades constructed. Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Pesaro, 
was appointed Condottier Captain-General, and Carlo Zeno, 
" the Unconquerable," and another bold son of Venice, Pietro 
Emo, were made Proveditori of the army. Further, the Signory 
became champions of Azzo d'Este against his usurping bastard 
brother Niccolo, and in the Great Council it was solemnly 
decreed that " war should be waged against the Carrarese to 
the very utmost of the power and possibiUty of the Commune 
of Venice." 

It was a sign premonitory of the character of a Doge to be, 


that this decree was passed upon the instigation of Francesco 
FoscARi, one of the Chiefs of the Forty. 

It was now the turn of Carrara to send a trumpet. But 
the temper in which Doge Steno and his government enter- 
tained the functionary of quaint name, was very different 
from that in which Francesco Novello had received the un- 
fortunate herald from the Signory. It is true the populace 
of Venice handled the Paduan messenger roughly. They 
were not trained, as were their lords, to the art of restraining 
feeling, and before the miserable instrument of Carrarese defiance 
could be rescued, his clothes were torn from his back. Brought 
with a guard to the Ducal Palace, he delivered to Doge Steno 
a letter in which Carrara vaunted himself that he had ever 
proved a dutiful son of the Republic, although the Venetian 
Government had studiously thwarted all his projects. He 
finished up by declaring darkly that out of wars spring things that 
men wot not of. The delivery of this letter was followed by a 
dramatic flinging of the glove of Carrara at the feet of the Doge. 

" I challenge you on the part of my lord, the Lord of 
Padua," cried the trumpet. 

" You are welcome," returned his Serenity with his 
serenest air, and, since the aged Steno could never forbear 
to sermonize, he continued, " we have accepted the challenge 
with gratification, hoping that the Almighty, who abases the 
proud and confounds the wicked counsels of princes, will smite 
him on that account, if He does not hurl him down into heU." 

Hard words break no bones, and at least the unfortunate 
herald of Padua had need to be thankful for Steno's talent 
of sententiousness. More grateful still must the present 
of a new suit of clothes, an honourable dismissal and a safe 
escort back to Padua, have made him. He returned home 
with the features of his face undamaged. " A lucky fellow, 
indeed," as a contemporary said, " since he found enemies 
more generous than the master whom he had served for 
twenty years." But we do not know in what ways the niggard- 
liness of his master was displayed. 

The progress of the war declared by Steno, was marked 
by a series of successes for which Carlo Zeno was mainly 
responsible. But the aged Doge fought in his own place and 


achieved victories of intrigue and finesse. Bringing into play 
his own relationship to the Lord of Ferrara as godfather — for 
Steno had held the illegitimate Niccolo d'Este at the font — 
he persuaded him to break off friendship with his father-in-law, 
Novella Carrara. The loss of the Ferrarese was a blow in a 
vulnerable spot of the Paduan armament. In a still more 
determined fashion did the Signory of Venice, with the Doge 
at its head, out-manoeuvre Novella Carrara by keeping in 
durance his son Jacopo who, after yielding Verona to the 
Venetians, had attempted flight by scaling the walls in com- 
pany with a Paduan follower, Paolo Leone. 

Though imprisoned in the Orba, Jacopo Carrara was 
treated well enough, until his father once again broke faith 
with Venice. 

Novella had agreed to peace, in return for a large money 
payment being made by Venice to the Carrara family, on the 
conditions that its members lived no longer either in Ferrara, 
Friuli, or the neighbourhood of Padua, and that, in return 
for a ransom, Obizzo da Polenta, the Ravennese ally of Venice, 
should be released from the confinement in which Carrara 
held him. This agreement was not kept, so Jacopo was removed 
from the Orba, on the ground floor of the palace overlooking 
the quay, and put in irons in a lower dungeon, with a diet 
of bread and water. His companion in prison was the man 
Leone who had been seized with his prince just outside the 
walls of Verona, and there Jacopo received from the Council 
of the Ten the following letter : — 

" Jacopo, why, knowest thou, and for what cause thinkest 
thou it is, that thy father who was contented, and promised 
to let the Signor Obizzo da Polenta go fpr 3500 ducats, now 
is acting contrary to his promise and wants other condi- 
tions ? By so much uncertainty, he makes it certain that 
thou wilt remain in the condition in which thou art at present, 
without other food than bread and water, so long as thy 
father will not let go the said Obbizo for the sum with which 
he was content, which was 3500 ducats. And for this reason, 
if thou desirest to write anything about the circumstances 
of the condition and the restraints in which thou fmdest 
thyself, thou mayest write that which thou wouldst, and 
we promise thee we will not have thy letter opened, so that 
thou mayest write whatever thou wishest and pleasest, and 


thy letter. will be sent by that Paduan who is at present in 
prison with thee, and who has seen and heard all and can 
inform thy father of the truth of everything, and we will give 
him safe conduct so that he may travel in security." 

As a reply to the letter of Jacopo, undoubtedly carried 
by Leone, came the liberation of Obizzo da Polenta, who 
tried to negotiate fresh terms between the Signory and Novella 
Carrara. But although Jacopo's miseries were softened by 
his re-establishment in the more comfortable quarters of the 
Orba, Padua was not surrendered and further provisions 
were made in Venice for continuance of the war. In the end, 
famine and pestilence effected what the troops of Venice and 
her allies failed to bring about. Padua capitulated, and the 
armies of Milan, Mantua and Venice entered the town. But 
the Milanese and Mantuans passed out as they came in, 
the starved people of Padua sullenly watching the procession. 
When the Venetians arrived, however, they were greeted 
with cries of "Marco/ Marco/" The Paduans acknow- 
ledged their conquerors, and the silver seal of their commune 
was given up for presentation to the Doge. This was on 
22nd November 1405. Already on the 20th the Captain- 
General of the Milanese forces — Galeazzo Visconti — had written 
to Venice desiring instructions concerning Carrara, who, so 
Galeazzo said, was in Milanese hands, but declared himself 
willing to trust himself to the magnanimity of the Republic. 
Willing or not, Francesco Novello Carrara and his son 
Francesco iii were taken into custody the day after the 
occupation of Padua by the Venetians (23rd November) and 
conducted to Venice, where they were assaUed by the populace 
with infuriated cries of " Crucify them, crucify them ! " It 
was believed that Novello, like his father, had attempted to 
poison the wells of Venice. Whether this were true or not, 
the instinct of the people which recognized the Paduan enemy 
as primarily a state traitor and only secondarily a foreign 
foe, was not wrong. 

To protect them from mob violence, the prisoners of war 
were speedily conveyed to the Island of San Giorgio, whence 
they were reconducted after a few days to the Ducal Palace. 
Lowly they knelt before the Doge, accusing themselves volubly, 


till, with that grace which is the polish of courts, Steno bade 
both rise and sit beside him. The occasion was good for a sancti- 
monious harangue. Yet even the wordy Steno dared not instance 
one-half of the grievances of Venice against the Carrarese. 
Lightly he touched upon their ingratitude ; then delivered 
himself of many platitudes, with an air of great benevolence. 

The prisoners, however, were being watched. It was found 
that relatives and dependents of theirs were hovering near 
the city, armed with much money to be used for bribery and 
machinations of all kinds against the integrity of Venice, and 
for the re-edification of Carrarese independence. Other in- 
formations and examinations led to discovery of recent plots 
against the honour of Venice and recent raids upon the honesty 
of Venetian governors. The Doge had yet to preside at 
councils where the criminality of the Carrarese, not as open 
enemies of Venetian power on the mainland, but as spies and 
traitors within the gates of the lagoon city, was laboriously 
and painfuUy inquired into. From San Giorgio the two 
Francesci were transferred to the closer confines of a prison 
called the Torricelia, on the highest story of the palace, where 
detained personages of distinction were used to be lodged. 
To the Torricelia there came one day a Benedictine friar to 
prepare the fallen Paduan for his last hours. With ftirious 
diatribe against the Republic and shockingly horrible curses 
on the Council which held him bound, Francesco Novella drove 
the mUd friar forth. But his respite was only momentary. 
There entered in the friar's place, Heads of the Ten and of 
the Forty, followed by many other of&cials, and twenty 
homicides. Though fighting to the last, Carrara was over- 
powered, seized by the arms and legs, beaten about the face 
and head, and eventually thrown to the grpund and strangled. 
His two sons, Francesco iii and Jacopo, were done to death 
by strangulation, but, supposedly because they did not desper- 
ately resist, without the aggravations of cruelty imposed upon 
their father. 

Homo morto nan fa guerra. 

The end of the three Carrarese was given out as resulting 
from attacks of catarrh. This enabled their poor corpses to be 
deposited in consecrated ground. The father was laid in San 


Stefano, the sons in San Giorgio Maggiore. It was sometimes 
deemed advisable in public interests not to execute traitors 
between the two columns of doom. But the people knew why 
the deaths of the Paduans came opportunely, if they had not the 
knowledge given them of how their dispatch was accomplished. 
Dead men make no wars. 

Following upon their condemnations came judgments upon 
many Venetians, trusted servants of the State, with whose 
patriotism and virtue Carrara had tampered or sought to 
tamper. Under these judgments even Carlo Zeno, the Un- 
conquerable, fell. Yet the worst fault of the great warrior 
seems to have been that of secret parley with the all-too-strate- 
gical Carrara. Zeno was sentenced to two years' incarceration. 
It remained for Doge Steno to approve the Statutes of 
Verona, as a city under his jurisdiction. This was done in 
July 1405. It is remarkable that certain democratic elements 
of the Veronese constitution were not eliminated by the 
aristocratic Venetian ruler. The Republic was becoming 
truly Imperial, and learning the art of ruling alien peoples 
with due allowance for local institutions and racial idio- 
syncrasies. On 4th January 1406 a gorgeous fete on the 
Piazza celebrated the submission of Padua. Sixteen ambassa- 
dors, chosen from the four great orders — knights, doctors, 
silk-merchants and squires — came from the university city, 
and the leading " doctor," afterwards a cardinal, presented 
the gonfalon of Padua to Doge Steno. The Paduans were 
ceremonially clad in scarlet, their servants having green 
liveries, and they were accompanied by bands of music. 
A little later arrived the deputation from Verona, also with 
many followers and bands of music. The uniforms of these 
were white. They rode upon horses caparisoned with white 
trappings, almost to the steps of a platform erected in front 
of St. Mark's, on which sat the Doge and his College (or Cabinet) 
and the Senators. The Venetians, like the Veronese, were 
aU attired in white. Dismounting, the Veronese formed into 
a triple file — there were twenty-one of them — and advanced 
towards the venerable Steno, carrjdng high the emblems of 
their submission. Among the tokens were a blank sheet of 
pure vellum, the keys of the three gates of Verona, the banner 


of the People — a gold cross on a field of azure — and that of the 
Commune — a silver cross on a red field. These were all laid 
at the feet of the Doge, who quoted, with little enough applica- 
tion, The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light ; 
upon them hath light shined. The deputies then took the oath of 
allegiance, which the Grand Chancellor of Venice administered, 
exclaiming as he closed his missal, My soul doth magnify the 
Lord. In exchange for the standards laid down. Doge Steno 
presented to the Veronese the banners of Venice, and took 
those of Verona to hang as trophies of the ducal rule on either 
side of the High Altar of St. Mark. 

The enunciation of texts, more or less applicable to the 
business of the hour, was a ceremonial habit in the fourteenth 
and fifteenth centuries that did not necessarily betoken any 
particular piety in the quoter. Certainly Doge Steno's relations 
to sacred things or, at least, to ecclesiastical affairs, seem to 
have been determined more by political expediency than by 
religious enthusiasm. He came out on the right side — ^that 
is, on the side of France, Burgundy and England, as well as of 
peace and reason — in his recognition of Pietro Filgari of Candia 
(a Venetian subject, although Archbishop of Milan) as Pope 
Alexander v. But then Steno's reasons for objecting to the 
claims of Gregory xii (Angelo Corraro, another Venetian 
subject) were the personal ones of Corraro having declined, 
on the ground of unfitness, to make a Bishop of a nephew of the 
Doge. However, Steno addressed the Senate with sufficient 
arguments of disinterestedness to cause that body, after he had 
retired, leaving his motion before them, to agree to the re- 
cognition of Alexander v, by 69 votes to 48, thirteen of the 
Senators having abstained from voting. 

The whole story of Doge Michele Steno is shaped by his 
personal character, and much of the story of Venice in his time 
was moulded by his shortcomings as by his distinctive qualities. 
On the whole, he did well for Venice and Venice did well 
by him. The record of his Breve was that he gained dominion 
over " beautiful Verona," and " also over Padua." In his 
epitaph he is called Amator justitice, pacts et ubertatis. These 
are good praises, and Steno, whatever the faults, the darings, 
and the delinquencies of the man, was a good Doge. 


A.D. I414 TO 1457 

IN the stories pendant to one another of Tommaso Mocenigo 
and Francesco Foscari, we see the summit of ducal 
power attained to. 

Only in rare exceptions, ever afterwards, was character in 
one Doge so strong as to exercise a noticeable influence, 
whether for good or ill, on the aims and methods of adminis- 
trative bodies, or on the thoughts and habits of nobles and 

It was otherwise with Doge Mocenigo. He truly voiced 
some aspirations of his people ; inspired some views of the 
signory ; wielded some forces of will 5 and intention in the 
government. Mocenigo was a genuine lover of peace and 
an unsparing critic of ^11 who held that political arguments 
can be determined only by force. He had lived through all 
the hardships and turmoils of the long war with Padua, and 
it fell to his lot, as Doge, to pay off the huge debts contracted 
during the campaign. For these causes, if for no others, he 
strove from first to last to preserve the neutral attitude for 
Venice on Italian questions. Wars on the Turks, the Greeks 
and the Dalmatians were right enough — the inevitable tasks 
of Imperial Venice. Under his rule the Venetians had their 
first naval battle with the Turks, and gained a splendid victory 
over them at Gallipoli. Resistance of a German Emperor's 
interference with Venetian rights was also a policy no patriot- 
Doge of the fifteenth century could follow weakly. So 
Mocenigo's opposition to the Emperor Sigismund's appoint- 
ment of Louis de Teck to the Patriarchate of Aquileia was 


an armed opposition, and Pandolfo Malatesta, as Condottier- 
General of the Venetian forces, drove the troops of Sigismund 
from all their positions in north-east Italy, and reduced the 
lordly de Teck to the condition of accepting an annuity and a 
limited jurisdiction in the City of AquUeia and in some 
smaller places, over which he had thought to reign omnipotent. 
Istria and Dalmatia were also reconquered, and aU the towns 
of the eastern shore of the Adriatic brought, one by one, 
beneath the old dominion. 

In Albania, in the Ionian Isles and in Greece, Mocenigo 
received, as War-Lord, the submissions of the Lords of Corinth 
and of Goritz, and the homage of these conquered princes 
was no embarrassment to the peace-lover. Scutari's feudal 
tribute of falcons and goshawks was a present that could not 
be appreciated by a Doge always too much occupied with 
treaties, negotiations and the general of&ce-work of his position, 
to spare time for sport. But he sent the birds as peace 
offerings to various princes who either performed the duties 
of government in a more haphazard fashion than he did, or had 
smaller interests and estates to manage. 

Much of Mocenigo's time was certainly occupied with 
approving and adjusting the constitutions of the many pro- 
vinces and cities both east and west of the Adriatic that came 
under his ducal sway. The exceeding care taken not to destroy 
unnecessarily any local forms and customs of government, 
but rather to promote a continuity of native arrangements 
in subject-states, is evidence of the judicious and managing 
nature of this Doge. Evidence of his character and designs 
is also to be taken from his attitude towards both the Diike 
of Milan and the Signory of Florence. 

Another Visconti of ambition, craft and power had arisen in 
Filippo-Maria, son of Giovanni-Galeazzo. With this viper, 
Mocenigo cleverly associated the lion of St. Mark in a league 
of defence against the Emperor Sigismund. The Florentines 
objected to the junction. It suited them better to have an 
aggressive state on the other side of Lombardy, and when the 
power of Visconti wound itself, snake-like, around Tuscany, 
and struck on Savona and Forli, the Government of Florence 
obtained the intercession of Gonzaga,- Marquess of Mantua, 


in an endeavour to persuade Venice to a rupture with Milan, 
and an alliance with the city of the Medici. 

Doge Mocenigo replied to the Marquis of Mantua that the 
matter was one of utmost gravity, and he would lay it before 
the Senate. He contrived to let it He there for some time, 
and whenever reference was made to it in any council under 
his presidency, he delivered emphatic harangues full of retro- 
spective accounts of how matters had come to their present 
pass, together with prognostications of disasters to follow, if 
Venice should provoke the enmity of Milan by making Florence 
strong enough to hold her own. 

Certainly Tommaso Mocenigo was a wordy and sententious 
person, although his speeches, as recorded, must be elabora- 
tions of the originals. We learn from them, however, the 
character of his relations with the Doge who was to follow 

Francesco Foscari had recently been made a Procurator 
of St. Mark, when the aged Mocenigo aimed at him the speech 
which portrays for all time the natures of both men, as well as 
the situation of Venetian politics in their time. 

" Young Procurator," said Doge Mocenigo threateningly, 
" what happened to Troy will happen to Florence and will 
happen to you. By wars, the Trojans were weakened and 
enslaved ; by wars Florence is destroying herself, and we shall 
do the like if we take counsel with our young Procurator. It is 
to the arts of peace that our city owes all her prosperity ; it is 
to them she is indebted for her riches, the increase of her 
population and her houses. Pisa aggrandized herself by 
similar means and by her good government. She plunged 
into war, impoverished herself, was lost. So it will be with us 
if we listen to our young Procurator. Let me recommend 
you, Ser Francesco, not to come to hasty conclusions on this 
matter. Remember that Florence does not use the port of 
Venice either by land or water. Her sea is removed from our 
boundaries five days' journey. Our passes are the Veronese. 
The Duke of Milan is the Prince whose territory is contiguous 
to our own ; and he must be kept in check, since it is scarcely 
a day's march to his City of Brescia, which lies close to Verona 
and Cremona. Genoa, again, has sufficient maritime power 
under the Ducal rule to do us harm ; with her we should 
endeavour to stand well ; and if the Genoese are guilty of 
any, excesses, we shall have justice on our side, and we can 


defend otirselves with fairness against both them and the 
Duke. The mountains of the Veronese are our barrier against 

The parts of Mocenigo's speech which followed the more 
personal harangue are more informing of the financial con- 
dition of Venice at the time, and of the rich result of Mocenigo's 
method of rule ; but even the statistics put forward " by 
virtue of a resolution in Council," have the tone of the man 
whose voice supposedly announced them and who recognized 
so clearly in the " young Procurator " the leader of the party 
which, by the law of complements, was bound to come to 
power when his own had had its day. 

The statistics of Doge Mocenigo's speech are the most 
elaborate and minute for that period in the existing records 
of any country. They show that the volume of trade with 
Milan was far greater than that with any other Italian state, 
whUe the commerce with all Lombardy was worth the enormous 
sum of 28,000,000 ducats a year. 

" Our Bankers report that, on the whole, the Milanese 
pay us annually 1,612,000 ducats," announced the subtle 
Mocenigo. " Prythee tell me if you do not think that this is a 
fine and noble garden, which costs Venice nothing ? " 

More statistics followed and more queries as to whether 
Venice had not in many quarters a very fine garden ? Then 
with some recapitulation and with not a little confidence and 
pride, the aged Doge concluded : — 

" My Lords, you see how year by year, in consequence of the 
troubles of Italy, families migrate hither, and help to swell our 
population. If the Florentines give themselves to the Duke, 
so much the worse for them who interfere ! Justice is with us. 
They have spent everything and are in debt. We have a 
capital of 10,000,000, on which we gain 4,000,000. Live in 
peace, fear nothing and trust not the Florentines ! Your 
college has desired to be informed of the revenue which we 
derive from the territory between Verona and Mestre ; it is 
464,000 ducats. On the other hand, it has desired to know 
the expenditure. But with the best peace in the world, the 
expenditure must go far to swallow up the receipts. My 
Lords, I am not saying these things to glorify myself. But 
in truth, you hear our captains at Aignesmortes and in 


Flanders, our ambassadors, our consuls, our merchants, 
telling you with one accord : My Lords of Venice, you have a 
virtuous and good prince who has kept you in tranquillity ; 
you are the only Power which traverses the sea and the land ; 
you are the fountain of trade and the purveyors of the world ; 
you are welcome everywhere ! On the other hand, around you 
is nought but war, flame, and tribulation. Italy, France, 
Spain, Catalonia, England, Burgundy, Persia, Russia, 
Hungary, all are at war. We wage battle against the Infidels 
only ; and great are the praise and glory which we reap. 
So long as I live, my Lords, I will maintain those principles 
which I have hitherto followed, and which consist in living at 
peace ! " 

The party favouring the Florentines and opposing peace — 
Foscari's party — was undoubtedly a strong one, but the oration 
of Mocenigo carried the assembly in which it was delivered, 
and the Signory was instructed to thank the Florentine 
government for its offers, and to regret that they could not be 
accepted, since " the federation with the Duke was concluded 
with an anxious regard to the common safety of Italy." 

Mocenigo was at this time in his eightieth year and severely 
indisposed, yet memorable words of his were yet to be spoken. 

It was on his death-bed, with the chief senators and principal 
officers of his government gathered round him, that the 
venerable Doge delivered his last statements, his last cautions 
and his last forecasts. 

" My Lords," he said, or probably read from notes held in a 
trembling fist, " from the infirm state in which I find myself, 
I judge that I am drawing near the close of my career ; and 
the obligations under which I lie to a country which has not 
only bred me, but has permitted me to attain such lofty 
prominence and has showered upon me so many honours, have 
prompted me to call you together around me, in order that I 
may commend to your care this Christian city and persuade 
you to live in concord with your neighbours, and to preserve 
this city, as I have done, to the best of my ability. In my 
time, 4,000,000 of the Public Debt have been paid off, though 
6,000,000 more remain, the latter sum being contracted for 
the wars of Padua, Vicenza and Verona. We have regularly 
paid the half-yearly interest on the Funds and the Salaries 
of >the Public Offices. Our city at present sends abroad for 
purposes of trade in various parts of the world 10,000,000 a 


year, of which the interest is not less than 2,000,000. In this 
City there are 3000 small vessels which carry 17,000 seamen ; 
300 large ships carrying 8000 seamen, and every year 45 
galleys and dromons are launched for the protection of 
commerce, which have employed in building, 11,000 mariners, 
3000 carpenters, 3000 caulkers. Of silk-cloth weavers, there 
are 3000 ; of manufacturers of fustian, 16,000. The houses 
are estimated as worth 7,050,000 ducats. Their rents amount 
to 150,000. We find 1000 gentlemen with incomes varying 
between 700 and 4000 ducats a year. If you continue in this 
way you will multiply more and more and will become masters 
both of all wealth and all Christendom. Everyone will fear 
you. But I beseech you, avoid as you would fire, seizing what 
belongs to others and engaging in unjust wars, for in such 
wars God wiU not support princes ! " 

Then, after reading more statistics regarding the naval, 
scientific and commercial wealth of the Republic, Mocenigo 
delivered another exhortation. 

" It behoves you," he said, " to exercise extreme caution 
in the choice of my successor, because through him the Republic 
may receive much good and much fame." 

This is testimony incontrovertible to the power and |in- 
fluence still to be exercised personally by a Doge of character. 

Reviewing the qualities of six nobles whose names were 
already in men's minds as candidates for the Dogeship, 
Mocenigo approved them all as " good men." But there was 
another who had to be referred to. Those who inclined to 
Francesco Foscari did not sufficiently know his deceitful, 
proud and superficial character. " Ahbazia molto e poco 
stringe." If Foscari were made the Doge, Venice would*be 
continually at war. Upon the Venetians would terrible 
judgments fall. 

It was the mission of Francesco Foscari, as it has been the 
mission in time of other scions of noble families, to rebuild the 
ancient fame and fortune of his house. His brilliant gifts and 
strong political capacities had early marked him out for a 
career. By reason of a quarrel between his uncle Paolo 
Foscari, Bishop of Venice, and Doge Andrea Contarini, his 
father, as weU as the offending prelate, had found it wiser and 
more comfortable to live abroad for a time. But Francesco, 


if not left at home with his grandfather, seems early to have 
returned and to have given himself to his country's service. 
He became a Chief of the Forty in his twenty-ninth year, 1401, 
and subsequently was made, at different times and recurrently, 
an Ambassador, a Chief of the Ten, an Avogador of the Com- 
mune and an Inquisitor of the Ten. The candidate who most 
closely contested with him the supreme office, was Messer 
Pietro Loredano, one of the six men proclaimed as " good" by 
Doge Mocenigo. The success of Foscari Was won by the 
fitness and force of his speech in the Council of the Forty-One, 
and by Loredano' s ill-judged and hot-headed defence of his 
own personal qualifications, over which Foscari chuckled, while 
he thought out a most able and well-reasoned address. 

For two centuries and a half — since 1173 — it had been the 
custom to proclaim the newly-elected Doge to the populace 
gathered in Arengo on the Piazza, or in San Marco, in the 
words : " This is your Doge, an it please you." But in the 
course of correcting the Promissione of Francesco Foscari, some 
humorist sage drily remarked, " And if it should not please 
them, what then ? " The consequence was of course unthink- 
able to the aristocrats who were at the moment inserting in the 
Oath a provision that " all and every such resolutions as shall 
have been taken heretofore in the Great Council, in which it is 
found recited that they are put in Arengo, likewise such as 
shall have been taken during this vacancy of the Crown, shall 
upon their adoption by the Great Council acquire the same 
force and validity as if they had been published in Arengo." 
It was further ruled that " these resolutions shall not again at 
arty future time be published in Arengo, and the Arengo 
shall not be convoked, save at the election of our lord the Doge, 
when it shall be summoned and the said election be promul- 
gated according to practice." 

The possibility of the Arengo taking exception to any 
decision of the Great Council was too alarming to be con- 
templated. So another ruling was agreed to, by virtue of 
which, on the morning of i6th April 1423, Albano Badoer, the 
eldest of the Forty-One, announced to the popular assembly, 
" This is your Doge." 

By another well-considered yet fiery speech, delivered from 




a balcony of the palace later in the day, Foscari called forth 
cries of Sia ! Sia ! which signified that his election was well- 
pleasing to the people. But the joy-bells of his accession were 
the knell of all popular rights in Venice. They rang also the 
curfew of the day of ducal glory. 

The " Young Procurator " was fifty years old when he 
mounted the throne. We read that he had cunningly employed 
his opportunities as Procurator to buy himself friends with 
the " mammon of unrighteousness." Finding a considerable 
hoard in the treasury of St. Mark, he applied it — no doubt by 
all proper and legal methods — to the assistance of members of 
noted famiUes in reduced circumstances and to the portioning 
of marriageable daughters of the poor nobility. It may have 
been — as old Sanudo believed — that these doles were given by 
Foscari with the sole view of securing his own advancement. 
But Foscari was a man whose instinct was to spend rather than 
to save, although he always sought value for payment, and 
certainly believed that peace was a commodity a State might 
too dearly purchase. 

In this view he was, of course, in direct opposition to 
Mocenigo, and because of it, rather than from any native 
bellicosity, he had brought down on himself the strictures of his 
predecessor. Hostilities in Italy in the fifteenth century were, 
in any case, more affairs of expense than of danger. The 
navies, both of war and trade, sapped Venice of warm young 
blood, and rendered her the poorer in will, thought and sinew. 
But the armies drew from the State little wealth beyond the 
minted coin with which the hired troops and condottier- 
captains were paid. Some hand-to-hand fighting, some 
charges of cavalry and some exchanges of cannon shots were 
undoubtedly among the episodes of camp-life for the soldiers 
of the renowned Carmagnola who, in the reign of Francesco 
Foscari, compensated himself for loss of service under the Viper 
of Milan by carrying to a certain victory the Lion of St. Mark. 
But the successes of even such an illustrious general and genius 
among fighting-men were achieved more by methods of con- 
trivance, deception and statesmanship, than by force of arms 
and deeds of military daring. 

That it was on questions of economy and trade, rather than in 


political views and humane considerations, that Mocenigo 
differed from Foscari, is shown in the speech made by the later 
Doge at a time when the Florentines had recently suffered some 
decisive defeats by the Milanese, and were having their Tuscan 
liberties forcibly wrested from them by Visconti's generals. 

" Many resolutions have been proposed. Conscript Fathers, 
which, being of a contradictory kind, breed confusion and tend 
to mislead our judgment. Decipimur specie recti. There are 
two things which in this our Republic are thought exceedingly 
pleasant, but which, nevertheless, have involved states often- 
times in troubles : they are peace and frugality. While men 
cling to repose too fondly and show themselves too greedy 
of gain, grave perils beset their path. Of this we have ex- 
amples numerous enough in ancient and in modern days. 
Have we not one under our own eyes ? Behold the fate of the 
Florentines who having neglected to bridle the power of Filippo- 
Maria, while it was stiU insignificant, are now in imminent 
danger of falling under a Milanese yoke ? But what am I 
saying ? Is it not our place to help the distressed and jeopar- 
dized Power ? Shall we suffer Filippo to lay a finger on the 
liberties of Florence ? That insensate tyrant (if he be not 
checked) will be pursuing his conquests unmolested, until he 
has overrun the whole Peninsula ; and when he has got 
Florence, he will attack us next. That is the grand object 
of his machinations ; that is his whole thought. Therefore 
I have wondered much when I have heard it said that it is not 
for us to interfere in this matter. Really, most excellent 
Fathers, I am of decided opinion that our interest and duty 
lie in that very direction ; I am of opinion that the Signory 
ought not to remain a passive spectator of the present contest. 
I must remind you that the Florentines, though weakened 
indeed, are not so utterly exhausted that they cannot furnish 
their share of troops. By Carmagnola we have been assured 
that ■ the power of the Duke is not so great as it is reputed to 
be ' ; and under such a leader who, even in our age so prolific 
in military talent, has no equal, we may sanguinely look for a 
prosperous result and for an extension of frontier. All these con- 
siderations are calculated to induce us to engage in the war — 
a necessary war, I must call it — against the common foe who, 
contemning all laws, himian and divine, appropriates by 
fraudulent and nefarious arts the possessions of his neighbours, 
and who is aspiring to the throne of Italy. For such reasons, 
I repeat, let us imdertake the struggle with good courage ; and 
in crushing this enemy, let us secure for the Peninsula the bless- 
ing of tranquillity." 


This was undoubtedly a war speech, and, as we have 
ground to beUeve, delivered with that persuasiveness of voice, 
manner and style which makes an oration truly inflammatory. 
Yet Foscari had been two years Doge before he counted it 
wisdom to make such an address. Almost as stoutly as his 
predecessor, and not only because of his predecessor's stoutness^ 
Foscari had resisted the pleas and importunities of the Floren- 
tines, until the actions of Visconti became a true encroachment 
on Italian hberties, and it was found that neither an alliance 
with Milan against the interferences of Sigismund, nor the 
neutrality of Venice in the strife between MUan and Florence, 
could help the general peace of Italy or aid the tranquilUty and 
the prosperity of the State of Venice. 

Yet Foscari had been so far warlike and so far economical 
as to equip his country for defence and aggression, while peace 
yet remained unbroken. 

In March 1425 he took into the service of the Republic 
the redoubtable Carmagnola. One Andrea Contarini had been 
the agent in the delicate negotiations between the Doge and 
the Milanese, and it is curious to see the name of Contarini in 
close connection with that of Foscari. But the feuds between 
Doge Francesco Foscari's uncle and father and the Doge 
Andrea Contarini had been fully appeeised what time the 
nephew of the recalcitrant Bishop Foscari attained to the 
ducal office. The services of the later Andrea Contarini to 
Doge Foscari were indeed preliminary to a closer relation to 
follow between the two families of distinction. But before 
the splendid nuptials of Jacopo Foscari and Lucrezia Contarini 
were celebrated in Venice, two disasters happened which, if 
they do not prove the vanity of aU things human, show at 
least from what vain instincts human beings court their doom. 
On the nth March 1430, the Doge, in accordance with a 
provision of the coronation oath, inserted at his election, held 
his monthly reception of the judges, for the purpose of ex- 
horting them to fulfil their duties honourably and without 
respect of persons. Into that reception, with or without leave, 
came Andrea Contarini, and he, choosing cynically the occasion 
of Foscari's virtuous admonishment of others, suddenly 
assaulted his prince with a knife, giving him several slashes 


in the face. Contarini had not been rewarded for his services 
in the matter of the engagement of Carmagnola, as he hkd 
expected to be. He wanted to be made Captain of the Gulf, 
and not obtaining the post designed a vendetta on the Doge. 
His design, presumably, was unknown to Foscari ; unless, being 
something of a desperado himself, he chose to treat the threats 
of his erstwhile spy and servitor with contempt. If so, the 
fury of the assailant was probably doubled. Some later 
chroniclers have charitably expressed the belief that this 
Contarini was mad. But the passing of the sentence of 
having his hand cut off, by judges who must have actually 
witnessed his crime, shows that the act did not impress ob- 
servers of it as that of a lunatic. Yet who shall say that aU 
crime, and even aU vanity, are not madness ! 

The way of Carmagnola, for all his craft, intelligence and 
quick perception, was it not a mad way ? 

The cow-herd who owed his enlistment as a soldier to what 
we in the world call Chance, was indebted for all following 
successes to his own fiery will, his stout right arm, and — 
because he was an Italian of the century of Machiavelli — to 
his extraordinarily suggle mind and absolute wiant of moral 
principle. Yet this same suppleness and lack of honesty 
brought him to his early doom. For long, the Signory of 
Venice bore with his shifts, and affected to believe the excuses 
he gave for refraining to follow up attacks and missing his 
opportunities of dealing real punishment on the enemies of 
Venice. The brilliancy of his exploits, when he chose to put 
his troops to feats of arms and strategy, or to direct forces of 
insinuation and subtlety against the Viper of Milan, were 
allowed to atone for neglects and prevarications with which 
the Signory dared not charge him. But the end had to come. 
It was brought about with all the cunning, even all the theatri- 
cality, that is popularly attributed to actions of the Venetian 
government ; in particular to the machinations of the dreaded 
and powerful Ten. 

The drama of the downfall of His Magnificence Count 
Carmagnola began with the dispatch from Venice of the 
trusty secretary of the Chiefs of the Ten. This officer bore 
a message from the Doge to tlie Captain-General, asking him 


to come at once to Venice to meet the Lord of Mantua, a 
near and jealous neighbour of the Tyrant of Milan, who was 
disposed, for the moment, to be friendly with Venice. Car- 
magnola, who knew as much about things, both geographical 
and political, on the farther as on the hither side of the 
river Po, could make invaluable contributions, so the secretary 
was instructed to assure him, to the discussions about to 
take place. Together with the most detailed suggestions 
concerning modes of persuasion to be used with Carmagnola, 
the secretary had also instructions to order the subordinate 
captains to use force, should their chief refuse the ducal 
invitation. In such an event, he was to be escorted under guard 
to the capital. But Carmagnola the faithless did not doubt 
the faith of his Serene Prince. He set out for Venice without 
any urging. At Padua he was met by an escort of honour 
under Captain Federigo Contarini, with whom he reached 
Venice on 7th AprU 143a. Eight nobles received him at the 
entrance to the palace, and with every mark of respect ushered 
him and his following inside. The door was then shut, and 
Carmagnola waited for the ceremony of his presentation to 
the Doge. But there came only Leonardo Mocenigo, a high 
official, who said that His Serenity was indisposed, but would 
see his guest to-morrow. A little dashed, Carmagnola turned 
impetuously to leave the palace and go to his own house. 
The eight nobles formed a guard about him. They were 
solemn, courteous, bland. 

" My Lord Count, this way," they said, indicating the 
passage leading to the prisons. 

" That is not the way," protested the soldier, bluntly, and 

made for the door that opened on to the quay to which his 

gondola was moored. 

" But yes, this is the way," the men of dignity replied. 

And then appeared the hired bullies — sbirri — of Venetian 

justice, and Carmagnola knew that he was trapped. 

" I am lost," he cried, and passed beneath the portal of 

his fate. 

Thus was a traitor to Venice traitorously ensnared, and 

the honourable name of Foscari dishonourably used. Yet 

the Doge could not have been greatly ashamed of the 


success of a manoeuvre which was of a kind often employed 
— and proudly — by Carmagnola himself. Thieves must be 
caught by thievish means. 

A truer shame to one of Francesco Foscari's daring, will 
and penetration, was the existence of a plot about him in 
the home city, of which, with his eyes fixed on far colonies, 
he had failed to perceive the beginnings. 

It was about three years after the attempt upon his life, 
that discovery was made of a league, to which at least thirty- 
seven members of the nobility belonged, and by which, through 
a system of in-and-out balloting for one another, they en- 
deavoured to obtain all the dignities and offices of the govern- 
ment for themselves. Denounced by the Ten, the delinquents 
were sentenced to banishment from Venice for terms of from 
one to five years, with exclusions of varying periods from 
the Grand Council, or from the offices they had nefariously 
obtained. The Ten made the punishments the more thorough 
by publishing rigorous laws, menacing all who dared to join 
conventicles or to make rules to the prejudice of existing in- 
stitutions and ordinances. 

The triumph of the government was absolute, but it was 
a wound to the soul of Foscari that the battle had been 
necessary. He was a conquering Doge who cared more for 
moral triumphs than for material ones. The acquisition of 
three fair provinces in Lombardy could not salve his grief 
over the length of the wars, the fierceness of the plague, and 
the narrowness of the exchequer. Partly from disgust, and 
partly, perhaps, to test his own popularity with the Council 
and the Ten, Foscari (a.d. 1433) proposed to resign the crown. 
But the law concerning ducal abdications, fixed by the Pro- 
missione of Doge Marino Morosini nearly two hundred years 
earlier, required the acquiescence of a certain number of 
Councillors in any desire of a Doge to lay aside his office, 
and at this time the requisite number was so far short as to 
prevent the proposal from being even discussed in the Grand 
Council. So Francesco Foscari continued to reign ; moreover, 
to reign victoriously, and to taste fruits of his ambitions. 

Not only were his counsels and protections as Doge of 
Venice invited by such diverse supplicants as the Pope of 


Rome and the Republic of Genoa, but he had the poHtical 
satisfaction of bringing to the fate of decapitation " between 
the two columns " the very last of the Carrarese, who had 
been incited by the last Visconti to retake Padua. Foscari 
had also the more personal gratification of severally patroniz- 
ing and reprimanding two men of notable aspirations and 
attainments whose names sound down the centuries fatefuUy. 

Cosimo di Medici, banker, book-collector, diplomatist 
and orator, being sentenced by mistrustful fellow-citizens to 
banishment from Florence for ten years, became the honoured 
guest of the Republic at Padua, at Treviso, at Vicenza and 
in Friuli ; while Francesco Sf orza, Condottier-General of the 
Florentine army, recently created by the Pope for services, 
Conte delta Marca d'Ancona and Gonfalonier of the churchy 
was refused a stipend he claimed of the Republic and pre- 
vented from returning into Tuscany, because, in his endeavour 
to subdue Lucca to Florence and thus make himself a more 
formidable foe to Visconti, he had not conducted his campaign 
in the manner dictated by Venice. 

Thus did the government of the lagoon islands exercise 
Imperial power, although considerably embarrassed by its 
Empire. Foscari could relinquish nothing that had been 
gained, and it was determined in his councils to seek in- 
vestiture of his many hardly-held dominions on the mainland, 
from the hand of the living representative of the line of German 
Emperors, in whom it was a dream of the age to see the 
Roman Caesars restored. It had been a promise made by 
Sigismund, upon the formation of the league with the Venetians 
against MUan, that he would give the Venetian Signory a 
perpetual title to all the lands, castles and other places 
possessed by them within the Imperial domain, and to this 
gift he had pledged himself and all successive and future 
Roman Emperors ! 

There was, however, one obstacle to the performance of 
the promise in the thorough manner desired by Venice. An 
heir of the Scaligeri still lived, and was a refugee at the Court of 
Sigismund. The claims of the descent of Brumoro della Scala 
were purchased by Venice for a life-income and, upon the con- 
clusion of this bargain, the solemn ceremony of investiture was 


held at Prague, when Marco Dandolo for Venice did personal 
homage to the Emperor Sigismund, on the i6th of August 1437. 
In the following November the Doge gave public notice 
in Venice of the ceremony and its pledges. At the same time, 
an undertaking was sent to the Imperial Chancellor to pay 
him ten thousand ducats, in instalments of one thousand a 
month. The oath was never renewed. But, in his time, 
Francesco Foscari was undoubted Lord of many domains in 
north Italy that had not before been subject to Venice, and 
was, moreover, coamted as an ally rather than a vassal of the 
western Caesar. 

In the same way, when John Paleologus, Emperor of the 
East, came to the Lido in February 1438, Foscari conferred 
with him as with a fellow-sovereign, although his first greeting 
had to be obsequious to the extent of kneeling and standing 
bareheaded before a monarch seated and wearing his cap of 
estate. With the Emperor was his brother Demetrius, 
Despot of the Morea, the Patriarch and many prelates and 
lords of Greece The main object of the visit of these dignitaries 
was to implore the help of Christian Kings, Princes and 
Governors against the overwhelming forces of the Turks. 
Incidentally, they were ready to abandon the special Greek 
tenets of their religion, and to provide for the union of the 
eastern and western churches. Paleologus was in desperate 
case and needed arms and men at any cost. 

It had been a sight to see Doge Foscari sitting on the left 
hand of the Emperor, on a chair of equal state, aboard the 
ship that had brought the august visitor from the eastern 
isles, whUe brother Demetrius, on the right hand, occupied 
a lower place. But it was a spectacle of unimaginable pomp, 
so Venetian historians teU us, to behold the Doge with the 
Senators and some of the Chiefs of Councils, upon the following 
day, as they sat in the stem of the Bucintoro, beneath a canopy 
of rose-coloured silk with the Lion of St. Mark and other 
emblems embroidered thereon in gold. In this state they 
passed to fetch the Monarch to the capital ; and there darted 
before, circled round, and followed after the princely vessel, 
many-oared galleys and other boats and barges, carrying 
nobles and officers of state. Colours flew and music played. 


The rowers and sailors of the numerous and picturesque craft 
wore ccats embroidered in leaf designs in gold and hinetti 
adorned in front with the banner of St. Mark, and at the back 
with the Imperial eagle. The cross-bowmen were also most 
fancifully attired, while the Lord High Admiral, in a splendid 
costume of cloth of gold, carried a sceptre, and was closely 
attended by no less than four grand personages. 

Once more the Doge went aboard the Emperor's ship ; 
once more he bowed low, and took his seat upon the left 
hand of the Imperial visitor, but this time he sat upon the 
same level with Demetrius, in order, so a Greek account care- 
fully explained, that he might converse more familiarly with 
the Despot. At last, with long trains of boats following, the 
Emperor was conducted, presumably on the Bucintoro, to 
Venice and taken on a round of sight-seeing. It was all 
ammirabile ammirdbilissima and worthy of a thousand praises ; 
so, at least, thought the Greeks. As for the Venetians, they 
behaved in a truly Venetian way. An occasion for a demon- 
stration was never let slip. On the Rialto bridge an excited 
throng welcomed the Imperial guest with gilded banners, 
trumpet-bleists and loud shouts of applause. So from one 
gorgeous or moving sight to another the Emperor passed, 
until at six o'clock in the evening he repaired to the palace of 
the Marquis of Ferrara. There he spent some weeks, chiefly 
occupied in writing letters of invitation to the Council to be held 
by the Pope at Ferrara. 

Yet the time was to come, and all too quickly, when 
Francesco Foscari could no longer be roused to make that 
goodly show of greatness he had hitherto so assiduously 
fostered. For all his fond ambitions, fair visions, and high 
hopes, this Doge had always been, and strongly, a family 
man. At the time of his elevation to the Dogeship, there was 
an objection that he had been twice married, and had already 
abvmdance of children, while his young wife was likely to bring 
him yearly additions to his family. Whether this foreboding 
were justified of subsequent events or not, it is certain that 
four sons and five daughters had already been born to Foscari 
at the time of his election, and that of these at least one son — 
Jacopo— was.the child of the Dogaressa, Marina Nani. We do 


not know if more of the original nine children were also Marina's, 
but we do know that in less than twenty years from his 
enthronement only one son remained to Foscari. This was 
Jacopo — " child of many prayers " — upon whose brilliant 
marriage to Lucrezia Contarini, in 1441, had fallen the shadow 
of an illness ending in death, of a younger brother. Deeper 
shadows were to fall on the feted and caressed young couple. 
Worse endings than death were to come to their hopes and joys. 
In the tourneys and other revels on the Piazza and in the 
private and state palaces of the Doge, which followed the day 
of many gorgeous processions on horseback and afloat, that 
made Jacopo and Lucrezia one, there broke his lance and 
stepped his measure the famous Francesco Sforza, who waited 
himself to be made a bridegroom with Bianca, natural 
daughter of the ruling Visconti, for his bride. To Sforza, 
Bianca had long been promised, but always with reservations 
and conditions that kept him either dangling and disarmed, or 
incited him to attacks on Milan which gave Visconti an excuse 
for hurling his forces against Sforza's employers or allies. 
Because Venice alone of neighbouring states could curb the 
designs of the Prince of Milan and reduce his insolence to terms, 
it was policy with Sforza to disport himself at the marriage of 
Jacopo Foscari and to show himself valiant in the jousts that 
celebrated it. Undoubtedly a present from this Condottier 
was among the number showered upon Jacopo and Lucrezia, 
and at a more advanced stage of Sforza's political friendship 
with Venice, he gave gifts to Jacopo Foscari of a kind forbidden 
to be received by any near relative of the Doge. These treasures 
in coin and plate were conveyed to the palace surreptitiously, 
and quickly hidden away there. But the practices of Jacopo 
with neighbouring and rival princes, as also with some home 
suitors for ducal kindness, were discovered, and he had to fly. 
He had been careless, idle, a featherer of his own nest, but, 
while he feared the promptitude of Venetian justice, he knew 
that sentences not instantly enforced were oftentimes reversed, 
and he trusted to his luck ! So, although the Council of the 
Twenty-One (the Ten had been specially augmented for this 
very serious business by another Ten, and by Francesco 
Loredano as Chief) pronounced on him the doom of banishment 


from out the domain of the Republic, to Nauplia in Roumania, 
Jacopo remained in Trieste, where he had first taken refuge. 
He was too ill to go farther, so it was given out. 

Meanwhile search was made in Venice both for those from 
whom Jacopo had received gifts, and for others who had been 
bribed with him, but for whose escape, although they were his 
own servants, he had not provided. To the former the 
douceurs had to be returned. To the latter, varying terms 
of banishment with deprivations of offices and rights were 
apportioned. Then the galley Trevisana was specially com- 
missioned in a letter beginning " Nos Franciscus Foscan'' 
to sail to Trieste whence, after waiting upon Jacopo's con- 
venience for eight days, it was to transport the son of Fran- 
cesco Foscari to Mondone. From Mondone, Jacopo was to 
proceed in a month's time to the place of his banishment. It 
was on February 25, 1445, that the Trevisana sailed. On the 
3rd of March the Dogaressa, by the voice of the Doge, appealed 
to the Council for licence to repair to Trieste, once more to 
embrace her son before he departed into exile. Marina Nani 
Foscari was refused a favour that should not have been granted 
to another mother of a banned conspirator against the State. 
Yet something more than the wish must have been father to the 
thought in Doge and Dogaressa, that their plea would be granted . 
It must have been that in matters less alarming to the govern- 
ment or less publicly bruited, the Foscari exercised a personal 
influence. In any case, Jacopo, their son, believed that he had 
protection in his parents' rank and personal fame. He paid no 
heed to the injunctions delivered by the Trevisana, and the 
special Council of Twenty-One becoming deeply affronted by his 
resistance, implored the Doge to assert his authority as father 
and prince, to induce his son to obey the decrees of the Junta. 
But neither pressure nor persuasion routed the light-minded 
obstinacy of the Doge's son, and on 7th April 1445 the Council 
confirmed their previous sentence by confiscating all his 
possessions and decreeing further that no one might, at any 
time, make a suit for grace in his favour. 

Yet nothing was really done against Jacopo himself, and he 
remained five months at Treviso under plea of being kept there 
by ill-health. So far from being evil-intentioned and cruel in 


the matter, as has been commonly said, the Council, at the end 
of these five months, overlooked the defiances of their authority, 
and listened to a proposition of four of their number that, 
considering the infirm state of health of the said Jacopo, and 
that, as in cases unforeseen and fortuitous for which it is 
impossible to provide, it is in accordance with all laws, equity, 
justice and humanity to succour all mankind and not to oppose 
abitrary judgments to the divine will and disposition, it had 
become their duty, " in the name of Jesus Christ, to accept the 
excuse of the said Jacopo Foscari and to hold for legitimate and 
honest the motive that impeded him from repairing to the place 
of his confinement." This motion was carried by fifteen votes, 
so it came about that within two years from the passing of the 
fierce sentences on the conspirators against Venetian integrity, 
it was permitted to the arch-offender to go to the Trevisan 
instead of to Roumania, there to live as a country gentleman, 
provided that he did not break bounds and return to Venice. 
The still later discovery of the actual box containing the 2040 
ducats and the plate known to have been the bribe of Sforza, 
led to no modification of the grace accorded, and in September 
1447 the Doge himself presented to the Council a touching 
appeal in his son's favour. 

Pleading the unhappiness of his old age and the torment of 
not being able to do what he ought and what he wished to do 
for the Republic, and, more than all, of finding himself deprived 
of the only son that remained to him in the world, and re- 
presenting the pitiful state of the same Jacopo, who with his 
wife, children, nurse and other servants, were victims of the 
fever raging at Mestre, he implored that his unhappy son should 
be allowed to return to his country. 

The Council received his supplication, and having con- 
sidered the need of the present time to have a prince with a 
mind free and serene to devote to the service of the Republic, 
which thing must be impeded for their Doge by the knowledge 
of the sufferings of his son in body and in mind, and having 
considered also the gentle humanity of the Government and 
the worthiness of the Doge, " it was conceded that Jacopo 
was free to return to Venice." 

Another three years followed the three of his banishment. 


How they were spent by the reinstated one no record exists to 
tell us. His words and ways could not, however, have been 
always circumspect, since they did not place him above sus- 
picion of a crime of conspiracy and violence. 

On the evening of 5th November 1450, Ermolao Donato, 
a senator, illustrious by birth and by worthy terms of magis- 
tracy and ambassadorship, was assassinated as he came from 
the Ducal Palace to return to his own house at Santa Maria 
Formosa. Although the Council of the Ten met the next day, 
and, because of the gravity of the facts, again demanded an 
addition to their numbers, and having obtained it ordered a 
most diligent search for the culprit and promised a large reward 
for his discovery, no one was arrested. But Donato had been a 
Chief of the Ten at the time of the first condemnation of Jacopo 
Foscari, and there had been later signs of ill-f eehng between the 
two. Besides, on the day of the murder, one Oliviero, a servant 
of Jacopo, was seen to linger on the Piazza as if he awaited 
some one, and then to enter the courtyard of the Ducal Palace 
about the hour at which the Pregadi '- were wont to leave, and 
this servant being met going back to Mestre, on the day after the 
assassination, related to an acquaintance he encountered, aU the 
circumstances of Dandolo's death on the evening before. The 
historian, Romanin, has pointed out that there was nothing 
really extraordinary in Oliviero having full knowledge of a 
crime committed the evening before in Venice, and that if he 
had been implicated he would have been more hkely to have 
hidden than vaunted his knowledge of it. But there were 
reasons — such trifling, thistle-down reasons as seem important 
only at times of much suspicion — that made the Ten take a 
grave view of Ohviero's wayside utterances, and, in any case, 
there was brought to the Council two months after the tragedy, 
a denunciation of Jacopo Foscari and some others, which resulted 
in their arrest. All proofs against the lesser prisoners being 
lacking, they were released before very long, but suspicions only 
accumulating on Foscari's head, the plea of a councillor that 
his denunciation had been brought about by desire of the re- 
ward, and not by a knowledge of facts, was not accepted. On 
the contrary, the Cabinet was charged to prosecute the researches 

1 Members of the Senate. 


more thoroughly. Already special facility had been given to a 
junta to arrest and examine any individual it seemed opportune 
to question. These inquisitors proceeded first to interrogate 
Andrea Donato, brother of the victim, as to whether he had 
ever heard words or become acquainted with facts which gave 
more grounds for the suspicion against Foscari. The only fact 
elicited was that the dying man said just before he breathed his 
last on the second day from that of the attack on him, that he 
pardoned his unknown slayer. Andrea, however, had nothing 
to add to this singularly indefinite testimony, and an attempt to 
incriminate Foscari by words out of his own mouth also resulted 
negatively. But the inquisitors were not to be daunted. Em- 
powered to obtain a conviction, their labours culminated in the 
announcement on the 26th of March 1451, that " by testimony 
and writings Jacopo Foscari had been proved truly guilty of 
the assassination of Ermolao Donato, although on account of 
the weakness of his body and of some words of incantation used 
by him, it had not been possible to obtain from his mouth the 
truth that had been revealed by the said writings and testimony, 
he having only murmured imintelligible words between his 
teeth while under the torments of the rope." 

Poor Jacopo was undoubtedly tortured, but his mutterings 
as his reticences may be reckoned rather as evidences of bodily 
weakness than as invocations of diabolic power. Well or ill, 
he was condemned at last to imprisonment on the Island of 
Crete, and upon all concerned was laid the obligation of secrecy. 
It was forbidden to his judges to speak to anyone of the case. 
Above aU, silence as to the names of his accusers was enjoined 
under penalties of death. Yet the name of one who had 
denounced him — Antonio Venier — seems to have been generally 
known, perhaps because he had himself loudly voiced his 
accusations, and this nobleman, as the Council styled him, was 
rewarded with a yearly payment of two hundred ducats to 
descend to his heirs, and with a licence to carry arms himself 
and to arm three of his retainers. Jacopo's servant Oliviero 
was banished for ever from the domain of Venice, and Jacopo 
himself given no opportunity this time to escape to Trieste 
or any other place. On the evening of March 29th, the 
Signori di notte arrived with their special attendants at the 


palace and led out the son of the Doge Foscari to their barge. 
In this he was transferred to the ship of a trusty citizen which 
sailed the same evening for Candia. 

The crime for which Jacopo Foscari was a second time 
banished was not certainly proved against him. Had it been, 
a sentence of capital punishment must have been passed. For 
many lightnesses and treacheries Jacopo had drawn down upon 
himself the condemnation of honest men, so a sentence of 
banishment to an island, from which it was thought he could 
work but little harm against the State, and where he might 
live in comparative freedom and comfort, seemed to be the 
only sentence to meet the needs of the case, and to save the 
Council from the accusation of favouring the Doge's son. 

For five years Jacopo remained in Candia, but what had 
happened on Rialto occurred again on the eastern island. 
Jacopo could not accept the sentences of Venetian law. He 
cotdd not be a patriot. He must ever fidget, plot and plan 
for personal liberty, which meant for him liberty to live 
idly and irresponsibly ; to get wealth as he chose ; to indulge 
himself as he would. He wished no harm to Venice, and 
probably could not understand that his flighty ways and 
flippant speech were a bane to his country. 

Suspicion fell on him of corresponding with the Duke of 
Milan at a time of peace, with the object of gaining his 
intercession; an act notoriously contrary to the laws of the 
Republic. He did try to negotiate with the Turkish Sultan 
for a galley to take him away from Candia, and in this 
endeavour was discovered. Letters in his own handwriting 
and ciphers used by him proved that his attempt had been 
a desperate one. When the knowledge of his plots with the 
arch-enemy came to Venice, the Ten were augmented, and 
directions sent to Candia for the gathering of more evidence. 
Yet the inclination of the Council was so far from severe, that it 
was deUberately proposed that " having regard to the lightness 
of Jacopo's character, so well known to all, and considering that 
in the place where he was he could do little or no harm to the 
Republic," it would be sufficient if the Governor of the island 
seriously admonished and warned him. But this suggestion, 
with another to send " two faithful persons " to watch him 


night and day, was not accepted. In the end a messenger 
was dispatched to bring the said Foscari, with his cook and 
other servants, immediately to Venice, and to search his house, 
boxes, clothes and person for writings. The member of the 
Ten charged with this mission, was appointed by letters-patent 
of the Doge. 

No tortures were applied at this time to the light-minded 
one. He confessed everything spontaneously, and his trial 
lasted only a day. Regarding his punishment, there were 
various propositions. To some Councillors it seemed sufficient 
to give him a good admonition and warning, and to send him 
back to Candia, there to be well guarded and surveyed. 
Another thought he should endure a year of imprisonment first. 
Yet another that he should be simply sent back. Jacopo 
Loredano, however, wanted the fullest pa5anent, and urged 
that the letters and other writings of Jacopo Foscari were 
so damaging to the honour of the Republic that nothing 
short of decapitation between the two columns could be a 
just satisfaction for the State. According to custom, each 
proposition was voted on, and in the end the mildest received 
two votes and the severest seven. But no less than twenty- 
two councillors approved of sending the culprit back to Candia 
and giving him a year of imprisonment there, with the strict 
injunction that if he ever corresponded with any more princes, 
he should finish his days in the gaol. 

Jacopo had been only three days in Venice when this 
sentence was passed. There could be no mitigation of it, but 
it was conceded to the wretched man to see his family in the 
Torricella before he departed again for Candia. As a subse- 
quent grace to the Serenus Dominus himself, the final interview 
between Jacopo, his father and other relatives, took place in 
the Camera del cavaliere. Even at this eleventh hour the 
Hght-natured Jacopo did not believe that his father was 
unable to reverse his sentence. 

" Father, I implore you, get me the permission to return 
to my own house," he begged. 

But the Doge replied — what else could he reply ? — " Go, 
Jacopo, obey the wUl of your country and seek no other way." 
Jacopo was led forth. 


Then could the elder Foscari no longer control his sorrow. 
" Oh, the pity of it ! " pieta grande ! he cried with sobs, 
and dropped to a low seat, a heart-broken old man. 

The measure of his despair was completed in the following 
January. The parting with his son had taken place in July 

Despite his unswerving patriotism and integrity, perhaps 
because of it, some faithful friends of his in the Council obtained 
a relaxation of the terms of his son's incarceration. But the 
favour was too late. News came to Venice of Jacopo's death ; 
and that news, more than age, illness and the earlier grief, 
seemed to strike the old Doge down. He had, however, a 
physical affliction that undermined his energies and strength, 
but the wounds of his soul were aggravations of his body's sore. 
From January to October 1457, Foscari was as one dead 
to the State. He took no part in affairs, answered no call 
to Council, heeded neither the prayers nor the admonitions 
of his officers and advisers. 

In October there met for a second time a Council of Ten, 
with a Junta of twenty-five, to treat of very secret matters 
concerning His Serenity. 

This Council proceeded first to exclude from their disputa- 
tions, as relatives of the Foscari, the Contarini. It was then 
proposed by one party that a Vice-Doge should be elected to 
fulfil the duties of the Head of the State, while to the existing 
Doge should be left his full dignity with its emoluments, the 
regalia and other appurtenances of his office. But the majority 
were against any suggestion that a Doge was other than a re- 
movable officer of State, and the Capi presented a well-balanced 
and exactly-worded proposition in which it was set forth that 
it was the duty of the Government to conserve by force all that 
Venice had gained by her great wars ; to regard the State as 
dearer than life itself and as founded upon laws and holy or- 
dinances that had to be observed and executed. The age and 
decrepitude of the Doge having prevented him for so long from 
governing or presiding at audiences, it was reasonable to sup- 
pose that he would never recover his ability to rtile, it was 
the duty therefore of the Privy Councillors and the Heads of the 
Ten, with the authority of the Ten and the Junta, to present 


themselves before the illustrious Prince and to explain to him 
how impossible it was to administer the great and grave 
business of the State without his presence and co-operation. 
So it was determined that the Ten and the Junta should exhort 
and pray His Serenity for the good of the State and, like a good 
father of his country, to renounce the Dogate. Especially was 
it hoped the Doge would do this thing, because the Council had 
provided that he should be paid month by month from the salt 
dues a salary of 1500 golden ducats a year for life. 

The memorandum concluded with the provision that the 
reply of His Serenity should be immediately reported to the Ten, 
who were not to depart far from the chamber in which they were 
met. If the Doge required time to consider the propositions 
made to him, he was to be allowed tiU the hour of terce on the 

The aged Foscari proved to be far from senile. Indeed, he 
seemed as wary and judicious as any ruler need be. The sharp 
action of the Ten provided a certain stimulus, and Foscari 
replied to their spokesman that he would not answer either one 
way or another. He reserved his personal liberty. Firrther, 
he reminded them of the laws which demanded that the de- 
position of a Doge should depend upon the suffrages of the 
Privy Councillors combined with those of the majority of the 
Great Council. 

This question having been debated, the opinion prevailed 
that the Ten and the Junta had power to ask for the resignation, 
and a deputation was sent in a second time to the Doge. It 
failed, however, as the first had done, to move the obstinate old 
man. The decision was therefore taken to tell Foscari peremp- 
torily, that he must resign, and that unless he quitted the 
palace in eight days' time, all his personal property would be 
confiscated. There followed the last sad acts of the career of 
Francesco Foscari ; acts fully as pathetic as his poignant words, 
pieta grande ! 

The ducal ring was taken from him and broken in the 
presence of the Privy Councillors and the Heads of the Ten. The 
biretta with the golden band surrounding it was lifted from his 
head, and he had to promise in form to leave the palace and to 
repair to his own house at San Pantaleone. Then, at last, did 


Doge Foscari understand that his regal dignity was gone from 
him, and that he was only a superannuated public servant who 
waited upon death. As the councillors retired from the last 
audience of his holding, one Jacopo Memmo, Chief of the Forty, 
fixed on him a look of gentle compassion. The old man saw it 
and called the young one to him. 

" Whose son are you ? " he asked. 

" 1 am the son of Messer Marin Memmo," was the reply. 

" My dear colleague," murmured Foscari, as there rushed in 
upon consciousness memories of past days. " Tell him from 
me to come and see me. We wiU take our ease together in a 
gondola and pay visits to the monasteries." 

On the following day he walked out of the palace with no 
other help than the staff he leaned on. His brother Marco, 
and other old friends and relatives, including undoubtedly his 
good wife Marina Nani, followed him. As the old Doge made 
for the stone stairway that led into the courtyard, his brother 
checked him, " Serenity, it wiU be best to go to our bark by the 
covered staircase." 

These steps descended directly from the first floor of the 
palace to an opening on to the rio now spanned by the Bridge 
of Sighs. But Foscari had no feeling that he had cause to hide 
himself, and replied stoutly — 

" I will descend by the staircase whereby I ascended to the 

So he passed by what was in truth that day the stairway of 
a giant, although the year was yet to come in which the more 
imposing structure known as the Scala dei Giganti was erected. 

The deposition of this Doge was not a popular act. For 
thirty-four years he had reigned in great magnificence over a 
glorious Venice, and those whose hearts had not been hardened 
by too great study and application of arts pohtical and too 
extreme devotion to state interests and governmental discipline, 
were sad for the old man so stricken in his family life. They 
would have borne with him in the vagaries of his dotage, for 
the sake of the judgments and activities of his robust manhood. . 
But the Ten had justified their existence as guardians of the 
constitution and officers of inexorable justice, and their only 
care was by added vigilance and various inquisitorial processes 


they well knew how to apply, to prevent a poptilar outbreak. 
Murmurs of citizens warned them that they had stretched 
their authority far enough, and when the Great Council met to 
nominate a new Doge, the Ten declared themselves unable to 
interfere at all in a matter which belonged wholly to the 
Maggiori. Among other preliminary resolutions passed then 
by the Great Council, was one to restrain the power of the Ten. 
It was decreed that they should not in future interfere in anything 
that concerned the ducal Promissione, except in a case of felony. 

It was indeed as if the judgment of the populace and the de- 
cree of the Great Council were confirmed by a Voice fromHeaven. 

Foscari had quitted the Ducal Palace on the 24th of October. 
On the 30th the election was announced of his successor, 
Pasquale Malipiero. From respect for the old Doge, as was 
said, but from fear of a popular outburst, in truth, no cere- 
monies of installation were at once arranged. Being All 
Saints' Day, the new Doge attended a solemn Mass in the 
Church of St. Mark. But even as he knelt there, the strange 
thing happened that a messenger came to him to announce 
the death of Francesco Foscari. No wonder the councillors 
looked at each other mutely ! Here, indeed, had been labour 
thrown away, and aU who had been concerned with the deposition 
of the late Doge, so runs a record of the time, were filled with 
remorse lest by their deed they had shortened an old man's days. 

But it was remorse for an act that had made themselves 
unpopular, and which Providence had performed for them, 
had they been patient for a few days longer, by which some 
among the Ten and the Junta were overwhelmed. More 
than ever, when the death of Foscari became known, did 
people say that the administrators of the law of Venice had 
been merciless and exceeded their functions. 

Foscari died of haemorrhage from a cancer of the tongue. 
He could not, in any case, have lived much longer — at least 
without great suffering.- But very likely the excitement of 
leaving the palace and his dignities, as well as that of putting 
up with inconveniences in a home not fully prepared for his 
living in — he had sold his ancient family dwelling and bought 
the palace of San Pantaleone on the Grand Canal during his 
Dogate — caused the bleeding. It was resolved to atone for a 


harsh and unpopular act by giving the ex-Doge a! funeral of 
the same pomp as if he had been the reigning Duke at his death. 

There was but one dissentient to this resolve. The loyal, 
proud and capable Marina Nani — she who had for so long 
played her part as Dogaressa with dignity and reticence — said 
boldly that the compensation came too late, and declared that 
she would herself provide for her husband all fitting funeral 
ceremonies, if she had to spend part of her dower to pay for them. 

But her words were disregarded, and Doge Foscari lay 
in state in the great saloon of the Signori delta notte with 
the ducal biretta on his head, the golden spurs on his feet, the 
sword of Venice at his side, and the mantle of state wrapped 
round him. Borne on a bier beneath a canopy of cloth of gold 
by stout mariners, with a bodyguard of twenty gentlemen 
in suits of scarlet and followed by the whole Signory headed by 
Pasquale Malipiero in simple senatorial garb, the dead Doge 
was carried amid a blaze of candles through the length of the 
Merceria to the Church of the Frari, where his funeral oration 
was delivered by the historian Bernardo Giustinian. 

The one unpopular event of his reign seems to have been the 
war with MUan. The eulogist was careful, therefore, to rehearse 
the causes of Foscari's quarrel with Visconti and to show that 
Venicehad been driven into the war'af ter many attempts at peace. 

Thus ended one of the most brilliant reigns in all the history 
of Venice ; a reign that both in art and in literature, as well 
as in its substantial conquests and general prestige, left a 
mark and established a reputation that were not easily obliter- 
ated or reduced ; that, indeed, in some sense, endure unto this 
day. No less than nine of the great pictures by Tintoretto 
and other Venetian painters, which proclaim from the walls 
of the Ducal Palace the dramatic character of the ducal story, 
represent incidents of Foscari's time. Besides these retro- 
spective memorials, there was placed, soon after his death, 
over the entrance of the palace known as the Porta detla Carta, 
a sculptured figure of Foscari himself kneeling in prayer before 
the Lion of St. Mark. This monument was destroyed by the 
radicals in 1797, but a modern reproduction now occupies its 
place, and a fragment of the original — the head of the Doge — 
is still preserved in the palace. 


A.D. 1457 TO 152I 

DURING his five years' reign, Doge Pasquale Malipiero 
proved himself a respectable ofiicial, but he achieved 
no personal fame. It would have been hard for any but 
a very great man to have charmed the popular imagination 
whUe Francesco Foscari was well remembered, and Malipiero 
was not great. He seems only to have had the gentleness and 
indecision of character which make an officer under the 
direction of many captains unoffending and placatory. 

On the other hand, his wife Giovanna (Dandolo) gained 
considerable reputation. She was believed to be a real en- 
courager of the arts of which, as Dogaressa, she was formal 
patroness. Lace-making and printing particularly benefited 
by her interest. She has the distinction of being the first 
Dogaressa always to be attended by ladies-in-waiting, and to 
occupy with them a special dais on ceremonious occasions. It 
was for her that the order ran that the Dogaressa should hence- 
forward wear a mantle of cloth of gold resembling that of the 
Doge. The rites of her enthronement were particularly solemn. 
She seems also to have been the first Dogaressa to wear a 
hirettina of the same shape as the corno of the Doge, but 
smaller. It is not quite exact, however, to say that she was 
crowned with it. All the four Dogaresse who are known to 
have worn the hirettina, issued from the houses whence started 
their processions to San Marco, with it already on their heads. 
The biretta of the Doge had come to be very severely modelled 
in a gold brocade to match the material of the State mantle. 
It had a stiff band of gold galleon round it, above which was 


placed, at times of special ceremony, the jewelled circlet. The 
cross added by Lorenzo Celsi had been laid aside with other 
jewels that made the headdress too heavy. 

The Doge succeeding Pasquele Malipiero was Cristoforo 
MoRO, whose Promissione confirmed a change of the style of 
the Venetian government which had been for some time in 
common use. No longer was Venice to be called a Commune 
or Republic. The State was to be designated thenceforward 
the Dominium or Signory. This was the final mark of the 
completely aristocratic character of the government of Venice. 
The rights of the commonalty had long since been taken 
away in fact. At the crowning of Doge Cristoforo Moro they 
were destroyed in name also. 

Although advanced in years when he came to the throne, 
the squinting, malformed, sinister-looking Moro professed 
great fervour for a Crusade. One of the first acts of his 
government was the dispatch of an embassy to Constanti- 
nople to complain of Turkish aggressions in Dalmatia and 
Albania. He also sent many messages to the Pope, urging 
His Holiness to take steps anew for the pacification of 
Christendom. As a pledge of good intentions, the Signory 
came to accord with the people of Trieste, with whom they 
had been fighting on account of imposts levied on Venetian 
commerce in Istria. 

Duke Philip of Burgundy having declared himself ready 
to proceed to the eaistem seat of war, the Pope desired the 
Doge to take the same resolution. Moro at once responded 
to the exhortation of Pius 11, to the extent of reading the 
papal brief to the assembled Cabinet and speaking on it in 
the following terms : — 

" Signori ! No leaf of tree falls to the ground without the 
will of God. Consider how this state of ours has come to 
such a height of grandeur, more by process of the will of 
God than by our own thought or force ! How could our 
contentions with the Turks have gone so well save by the 
will of God ? Let us turn our minds to God and to His 
Mother, and, thanking her for all the benefits we receive day 
by day, strengthen ourselves to do her bidding and to free 
ourselves from hatred and envy. If we do this, God will 


prosper this state more and more. It may soar to the highest 
if we depart not from charity, prayer and doing justice." 

Proceeding, the Doge informed the coUegio, or Cabinet, 
that he had already rephed to the Pope's letter that he de- 
pended on the will of the Signory to whom for many years all 
power had been delegated. He begged them therefore to deliber- 
ate with prayer and charity " loosed from the bond of passion." 

" Pray then the goodness of God," he concluded, " in 
all humility — for humilitas vincit omnia — that He may inspire 
you to decide what is our honour and what our duty." 

The effect of this harangue was that the Doge's proposal 
to join the league against the Turks was agreed to by 1607 
votes to II, with 16 non sinceri. Moro capped the climax 
by proposing to go himself on the Crusade. A little later, 
however, he withdrew the proposition on account of his 
age and ill-health. Such non-heroic reconsideration was not 
to the taste of the Council, and Vettore Capello, rising in his 
place, declared that it was necessary for Moro to go. The 
Republic could not retract. There would be given to aid the 
Doge a gentleman well versed in maritime sciences. Further- 
more, he should have four special councillors to advise him 
in his command. The hesitator could only declare that, 
since the Signory wished it, he would obey. 

Moro's fleet of twenty-four sail soon put out for Ancona, 
where it arrived on 12th August 1464. He was immediately 
invited to visit the Pope at his palace there. On the day 
set for the meeting, however, a Cardinal brought the message 
that His Holiness was indisposed and asked to have the 
visit of the Doge postponed until he was better. In compli- 
ment, Moro sent his attendant physician to call on the Pontiff. 
This functionary found the august patient at the point of 
death ; and the following night Pius 11 died. 

One of the first acts of the Cardinals on the morrow was 
to go to Doge Moro to announce the sad occurrence and to 
express their regret, in view of the grave obstruction to the 
expedition that had arisen, that His Serenity had put him- 
self to so much inconvenience to come to Ancona. To a 
subsequent conference with the Cardinals, Moro was 


conducted with all honour, mounted on a charger covered 
to the feet with trappings of cloth of gold, and accompanied 
by the entire populace of the city. There he exhorted the 
ecclesiastics to carry on the Crusade for the honour of God 
and in defence of the Holy Faith. Further, the Doge of 
Venice, unconscious as it would seem of any presumption 
in his words, enjoined the Cardinals to pay no respect to 
man in their choice of a new Pope, but to have a single eye 
for the peril which menaced all Christianity. He added that, 
so far as the Republic was concerned, all things were ready. 
The Signory would give six thousand ducats a year to help 
in the resistance of the common enemy. But the Turk was 
armed at all points and the King of Hungary needed money. 

In response to the Doge, Cardinal Niceno highly lauded 
the Republic and all that it had always done for Christianity, 
particularly praising Moro for being the only prince who had 
as yet followed the example of the Pope. Niceno concluded 
by promising that in any case the Cardinals would provide, 
at their own expense, five galleys for four months. This 
palaver over, the Doge returned almost instantly to Venice. 
Disembarking at the Lido on 23rd August 1464, he was re- 
ceived with all signs of honour and rejoicing, and conducted 
in the Bucintoro to the Ducal Palace. 

It was not the actual destiny, as perhaps it had never 
been the genuine intention of Moro personally to carry the 
banner of St. Mark on a Crusade. Yet war with the Turks 
waged desperately for many years, and Venice was so far 
successful that, almost single-handed among European powers, 
she kept the Moslem hosts at bay. 

The King of Hungary's need of money resulted in the 
selling of his friendship to the Ottomans, but the alliance of 
the Venetians with the Persians, under their valorous leader 
Usunhasan, caused the Turks to be drawn more towards 
Asia. The way was thus left clearer than it would otherwise 
have been, for Venetian admirals and captains to defend 
their colonies in the east ; but in 1474 Scutari was lost, and 
Negropont was also taken from Venice. No wonder, there- 
fore, that the Venetian Government manoeuvred quite 
desperately to gain possession of Cyprus. 


It was reserved for Doge Agostino Barbarigo to receive 
the ex-Queen Caterina (Cornaro) of Cyprus at the Lido, when in 
1489, upon the advice of the Venetian admiral sent to protect 
her rights, she resigned her crown in favour of the Venetian 
Signory. As " a daughter of St. Mark," Caterina had been 
married to the King of Cyprus, Giacomo 11 di Lusignano, in 
1468. The death of her husband in the year 1472 had been 
followed by that of his posthumous son and heir a few months 
after. Probably she had not required much persuasion to bring 
her back to her old home ; especially as she came, weeiring her 
titles of Queen of Cyprus, Jerusalem and Armenia, to a royal 
welcome and a settled estate — the gift of the Signory — at Asolo. 

But before the day of Agostino Barbarigo, though after 
that of Cristoforo Moro, there was a succession of Doges 
whose reigns were remarkably short. NicoLO Tron had 
succeeded Moro in 1471 ; Nicolo Marcello came to the 
throne a year later ; Pietro Mocenigo followed in 1474 ; 
and after him came Andrea Vendramin, who reigned two 
years. Then Giovanni Mocenigo, brother to Pietro, held 
the dignity for seven years. He was followed by Marco 
Barbarigo, who gave place within twelve months .to his 
brother Agostino, a veteran of seventy-eight, who kept his 
place for only five years. Among all these, only the Mocenigi 
won general favour, although they, Hke the brothers Barbarighi, 
were of the new houses and members of a league to which the 
Tron, Vendramin, Foscari, Moro, Grimani, Gritti, Loredano, 
and Malipiero families also belonged, and which was formed 
in 1450 to prevent any more descendants of the old nobility 
rising to the Dogate. There were no protests from councillors 
whose aristocracy dated back to the time of the Tribunes, 
when the Mocenigi were elected, and no demurs from pre- 
cisians because one member of a family so quickly followed 
another in power. But there was an outburst from the de- 
feated side when Marco Barbarigo was immediately succeeded 
by his brother. The objections, however, seemed to be 
chiefly because of the repeated elevations of mushrooms, 
rather than because minds were fearful of any attempt to 
establish an hereditary dogate. 

Nicolo Tron had made a fortune at Rhodes and was a man 




of great business ability. He gave particular attention to the 
coinage, and under his direction the lira was made of the 
actual value of twenty silver soldi. Other pieces were also 
brought by him up to their full standard, and his pride in this 
accompUshment, if not in all tasks of his office, was signalized 
by his stamping all coins of his year of reign with his own 
effigy. Among all the Doges who had preceded him, only his 
immediate antecedent, Moro, had dared to do this kingly 
thing, and his forbidding countenance had appeared on very 
few pieces. The Lire Tron were, however, widely circulated, 
and all great numismatic collections display specimens of 
them. We know his own arrogance was responsible for the 
design, because the Promissione of his successor prohibited 
all future Doges from putting their heads on coins. They 
might only be represented kneeling before a figure of St. Mark. 
That Nicolo Tron fondly desired and successfully obtained 
the perpetuation of his physiognomy is part of the irony 
of human things, since he was a swollen, brutal-looking 
person — a stammerer and a slobberer. He was, however, a 
lover of magnificence of all kinds, and both he and his Dogar- 
essa (Dea Morosini) went gorgeously robed in cloth of gold 
and many jewels. Yet beneath the splendid garments and 
repulsive aspect, form and manners, Nicolo Tron wore the 
heart of a man who sorrowed, who had lost the desire of his 
soul. His beard had been allowed to grow upon the death of 
a son who had departed this world prematurely. He had 
sworn an oath never to have it shaved or clipped. It was to 
go with him to his grave, as a sign of his constant mourning. 
We are not told if the mother too displayed an outward 
token of her grief, but hers was a chastened spirit. She was 
a woman as gentle as she was beautiful. When courtiers 
complimented Dogaressa Dea on charms corresponding to 
her name, it was her habit to reply with playful seriousness, 
"Dea s^ a Dio." That she was a woman of devotion to 
her God, rather than a woman of Goddess-like qualities, is 
testified by her husband's constant assertion that he owed 
all his good fortune in life to his Dogaressa's prayers. Some 
proof too of her Christian humility lies in the fact that she 
shrank from sepulture beside her Prince, whose superb monu- 


ment in the Church of the Friary is the most pompous 
memorial any Doge of Venice ever had. She desired to be 
lowly buried in the monastery of San Giobbe. 

Pietro Mocenigo was a fine old sea-dog who had spent 
years fighting the Turks in eastern waters before he was 
chosen to give them battle from a western throne. Andrea 
Vendramin came of a wealthy family long doing business as 
provision dealers, which had been taken into the ranks of the 
nobility after the siege of Chioggia. It is related of Doge 
Andrea that he gave his daughters on their marriages, portions 
much exceeding the amounts prescribed by the laws of Venice 
as the dowers of girls of rank, and said he did it in order to 
have sons-in-law to his liking. As he gained his election through 
his extensive family connections, there is little doubt that his 
liking was for sons of ancient and influential houses. 

In the time of Giovanni Mocenigo came the plague which 
carried off his wife Taddea (Michiel), when she had been 
Dogaressa only a year. This Mocenigo was the first of the 
Doges to be left a widower on the throne, and the obsequies 
of Taddea were of a regality equal to that observed when a 
Serenity himself departed. 

In life she had been installed in special luxury, and among 
other costly furnishings of her gilded saloons had been a 
" seraglia di animali rari." At her death her waxen effigy lay 
in state in the Sala delPiovego, and her embalmed body, clothed 
in the ducal mantle and birettina, was exposed to the public 
gaze in the Church of San Geminiano, whence it was carried 
in pompous procession to its final resting-place in the Church 
of SS. Giovanni e Paolo. An added note of tragedy was im- 
parted to the story of her decease, by the circumstance that 
at the time of it the Doge also lay mortally sick and the 
fact could not be at once communicated to him. 

The chief correction of the ducal Promissione of the Doge 
Marco Barbarigo — who came after Giovanni Mocenigo — was 
that he and his successors were to be styled Ducatus Veneti- 
arum, or " Doge of the Venetians," instead of " Doge of Venice." 
It was however stipulated that all proclamations made by 
decrees of Councils, should be issued in the name of the Doge. 

Upon the death of Marco Barbarigo there was undoubtedly 



a hope that some representative of the case vecchie would 
wrest the Dogate from the hands of the curti, as members 
of the case nuove were contemptuously called by all shoots of 
cincient stock. This did not take place, and so dissatisfied 
were the vecchie, that no amount of vigorous eloquence from 
the new Doge, who made a prompt attempt to calm the minds 
of the electors, had any effect on the malcontents. And the 
Doge who failed to give quiet at home was unsuccessful also 
in making peace abroad. Yet when, in his eighty-third year. 
Doge Agostino Barbarigo attempted to pass back to the 
Ancient of the Councillors the ring which, with the corno, 
he had received from that worthy at his coronation, the 
Councillors would not allow him to leave the palace for his 
house at San Trovaso. There was still no hope of any but 
curti being elected to the ducal chair, and constant elections 
were very disturbing to state business. So the Most Serene 
Prince was told that the Signory trusted in God that his health 
would permit him to remain yet many years on the throne, 
and he, feeling the pressure of his age, submitted to the 
general veto, sa3dng that perhaps he was sufficiently old 
and ill for it to have been already provided that he would 
not last long ; he desired therefore not to cause them any 

These words, we are told, being praised as the dicta of a 
patriot, went far to dispense the odium into which the utterer 
had fallen. But being dead, there was loud murmuring 
against him, and he was accused of corruption, of selling 
justice and of arbitrarily distributing offices. To appease 
his accusers, three new officials were created, who bore the 
ominous name of Inquistori del Doge Defunto. Their business 
was to investigate scrupulously in which articles of his 
Promissione a late Doge had been found wanting. These 
officers were additional to the Corretori dei Promissione, but 
there is no particular evidence that their severely inquisitorial 
powers prevented future Doges from falling into faults and 
weaknesses to which human nature in general is prone. 

In order to understand the character and actions of Doge 
Leonardo Loredano, as we who are so familiar with Bellini's 
subtle yet emphatic^ portrait of him in the National Gallery 


must desire to understand him, a glance should be taken at the 
European situation in his day. 

It was a situation which had developed desperately for 
Venice, during the succession of short and insignificant reigns, 
which had deprived the Dogado of a chief who commanded 
respect abroad. Against the Emperor Maximilian in Germany, 
Ferdinand of Aragon in Spain, Charles vii and Louis xii in 
France, Henry vii in England and Alexander vi (Roderigo 
Borgia) in Rome, the Venetians had pitted traditional policies 
and most signorial diplomacies. The Doges had been no more 
than officers of the Councils, and the plan of these bodies had 
been to appropriate as many trading advantages, while con- 
ceding as few, as possible ; to keep their highly-paid con- 
dottier-generals busy ; and to possess themselves of any 
neighbouring cities to be conquered incidentally whether 1^ 
stratagem or the sword. They had also continued to court 
and compliment the princes and governors of nations, whom 
they robbed at the same time of colonies and spheres of 
control, and they had occupied papal territories while they 
assured the Pope that they did so only to hold them as his 
nominees and to make his seat securer in the Apostolic See. 

NeutraUty, however, rather than possession, was the mark at 
which Venice had aimed ; a neutrality that would keep her clear 
of obligations as well as free from all subjection to any other 
state and that would enable her to gain an advantage from 
every combination or disruption between foreign countries or 
rival princes. A policy so selfish and sordid was bound to 
rouse anger and provoke retaliations. 

Already before Leonardo Loredano was made Doge 
(A.D. 1501), the thought was in the minds of some foreign 
rulers that the pride and ambition of the Venetians might 
well be curbed. But the Doge for the hour, the Prince who 
could at once represent the Venetians and typify Venice, had 
to come to his own, before the League was formed that tested 
the strength and spirit of the Venetians as they had never 
been tested before. 

Upon the death of Agostino Barbarigo the people's cry, not 
stifled although for so long disregarded, had been for Filippo 
Tron, a son of the Doge Nicolo. But this popular favourite 




who, like his father, was corpulent and unwholesome-looking, 
died while the Forty-One were assembled to make their choice. 
Loredano's candidature seems to have been somewhat em- 
pirical, but he came to the throne with a definite task to 
perform. That task was the making of peace with the 
Turks. Six years before, fighting had begun again with these 
old adversaries, and during the last three years it had been 
continued from no legitimate cause. But although in relation 
to the Turk the policy of the new Doge appeared to be sub- 
versive of that which the Signory was following, in other 
affairs Loredano showed himself a Sovereign who dared to 
put his country's poUcy to the test, and win or lose all that 
that policy aimed at or provided for. 

Under Loredano's rule, Venice strove more anxiously than 
ever to avoid complications. France and Spain were dis- 
puting the succession of the Kingdom of Naples, and the new 
Doge wrote to his governor in Brindisi to observe a strict 
neutrality towards the belligerents. At the same time, a diplo- 
matic mission was sent to King Louis xii to assure him that 
Venice had had no part in the movement of the Orsini family 
against the Pope. Similar protests were sent to the Pontiff him- 
self and to his plotting, turbulent son, Cesare, Duke of Valentino. 

Thus matters went along until the sudden death of Alex- 
ander VI, in August 1503, put a match to many smouldering 
passions and ambitions. The Orsini and other Roman barons 
sprang to arms to recover lands appropriated for the late 
Pope's darling, and, while French and Spanish soldiery paraded 
Rome under pretext of maintaining the hberty of the papal 
elections, the Venetians sent instructions to their governor in 
Ravenna that if it were possible to seize any of the properties 
of Valentino, they should be taken at once, particularly 
Faenza. What could be done, was to be accomplished with 
" celerita, circospezione, e secrezza." The resiilt proved that a 
great deal was possible, and, while Rome remained inoperative 
and unsettled, owing to the death within a month of his succes- 
sion, of Pius III, Venice quickly and circimispectly assumed 
possession not only of Faenza, but of Cesena, Imola and 
Rimini as well. 

But there arose a Pope who was a man of courage as 


well 35 of talent and courtliness. Julius ii was quick to make 
known his intention of re-acquiring the whole of the Romagna 
for the Papacy, and told a Venetian orator that while he 
gave him good words, his Signory performed dastard actions, 
and a Bull was sent from the Holy Father exhorting the 
Venetians, benevolently enough, to make restitution. The 
Republic was stubborn. The cities claimed had not been 
taken directly from the Papacy. Rimini, for one, had been 
obtained through an arrangement with Pandolfo Malatesta, 
to whom Venetian nobility, a house in Venice and 4400 ducats 
had been paid. 

The response of the Doge himself to the Pope's legates was 
as fiery and tenacious as Venetian response could be. Before 
the lands should be given up, Venetians would spend the very 
foundations of their houses. 

Yet when it was known that the nations were joining 
in censure of the ducal action, and that the Pope had appealed 
to all Christian Princes to make peace with one another and 
to repossess themselves of states seized by Venice on the 
terra firma, Loredano found it to be the better part of valour 
to reconsider his words. The lands taken from Valentino 
were given up, and those derived from Malatesta (Rimini 
and Faenza) alone retained. Then did the Venetians as 
huoni e carissimi figli delta sede apostolica set about making 
friends again with the nations. A letter of condolence was 
written to the most Cathohc King Ferdinand on the death 
of his consort, the Queen Isabella. The Emperor Maximilian 
was recommended to come into Italy for his coronation, 
but asked to come peaceably and without an army. The 
Pope was supplicated to oppose the entry into Italy of all 
foreign armies without distinction, and France was written 
to in a friendly strain, with disclosures concerning the actions 
and intentions of the Emperor. 

But the hour was too late for propitiations. The League 
was already in process of constitution, the final and forcible 
League of Cambray, which, according to the actual pre- 
amble of the Treaty, was formed to " put an end to the loss, 
injury, rapine and damage the Venetians had brought not 
only upon the Holy Apostolic See, but on the Holy Roman 


Empire, on the house of Austria, the duchy of Milan, the 
King of Naples, and many other princes ; occupying and 
tyrannically usurping their goods, possessions, cities and 
castles," so that the signatories had found it " not only 
desirable and honourable, but necessary to caU all nations 
to a just vendetta for the purpose of extinguishing — ^like a 
conflagration lighted to consume them all — the insatiable 
cupidity of the Venetians and their greed of dominion." 

After the preamble came the schedule of lands to be 
divided up and reclaimed by the powers to whom they had 
actually, or supposititiously, once belonged. 

Venice had not expected such a marshalling of her enemies ; 
such a disentombment and revivification of the spites of 

Fast and furious went the couriers with letters from the 
Senate to all the capitals of Europe, and in order to avoid 
storm and bloodshed in the peninsula, the Signory offered to 
cede also Faenza and Rimini to Pope Julius 11. 

The only friendly response to all the missions, was an 
offer from England to act as intermediary between Venice 
and her enemies. But the time had not come for arrange- 
ments or compromises, and Venice found herself at bay 
with empires and kingdoms, dukedoms and principalities, 
and even the spirituahty itself in arms against her. 

It w£is not Loredano who had brought this state of things 
about. No one man was responsible for this denouement of 
long acts of ambitious exploit and manoeuvre. Not in one age 
had the feeUng been generated that flamed to such white 
heat at last. But Loredano knew how in some sort to assuage 
the fire of passionate resentment, and to kindle hope, vigour 
and courage in Venetian breasts. 

The Doge called a meeting of the Councillors and re- 
minded them that their country had been founded by the 
saints-progenitors, by means of the "divine help, and from 
himible beginnings had arrived at its height of greatness. 
This greatness it was that had stirred up the hatred of the 
princes and brought upon themselves ingratitude for benefits 
conferred. The King of France particularly, whom the 
Republic had so greatly assisted in Italy, had broken faith 


with them, being bribed by the King of the Romans. Let 
those who had their beginning in God commend themselves 
again to Him ; let them reform their corrupt usages, let 
them do justice and so proceed in all elections to offices that 
merit alone and not the broglio ^ must be successful. 
In conclusion, Loredano besought the Councillors to vie with 
one another in Contributing the sinews of war, since if they 
lost their battle they would lose a fine state ; they would 
themselves be no more Councillors ; they would no longer 
be citizens of a free country. All this and much more did 
Loredano say. But his actions spoke louder than words. 
Setting an example, he sent his plate to the mint as a beginning 
of the " Public Bank of St. Mark," which it was usual to 
establish in times of great want or danger. 

We must remember that the Venetian Republic retained 
to the end many of its primitive methods, and at this period 
certainly there was no general system of taxation. Many 
ordinary as well as all extraordinary expenses had to be 
met by voluntary contributions of the wealthy. Loredano 
himself complained that only from the people of the poorer 
and middle sort were any dues extorted. It had been his 
wish to reform this state of things, but other needs of state 
had claimed his attention, and he had to do the best he could 
with the old system. His best was certainly very good. He 
had found an exhausted public exchequer when he came to 
the throne. Business funds also had been at a particularly 
low ebb. Yet by his own enthusiasm and self-denial, for 
he was not a rich man, he drew forth from the coffers of 
the rich and patriotic when the crisis came, sufficient 'to 
enable Venice to hold her own against such a league of armies 
as had never before been joined against one small Dukedom. 

Yet, though Loredano could act with vigour, decision 
and generosity, he had the deliberation of mind belonging to 
his years and race, and, as we have seen, did not in any way 
oppose the temporizing policy so much in favour in his day. 

" His Serenity," so wrote Marino Sanudo at the time of 
Loredano's accession, " determined to do everything to help 
this Republic, and in the College, the Senate, and the Great 

^ The Venetian synonym for " back-stairs." 


Couhcil he talked of the great things he wished to accomplish 
and which it was reasonable to hope for, since it was written 
Doges change ; fortune will come and go ; therefore 


In considering what kind of lever would raise his country 
to a higher state of prosperity, rectitude and fame, Leonardo 
Loredano showed himself undoubtedly a wise ruler ; never 
wiser, perhaps, than when he recognized that in the war 
that had to ensue, it would be most damaging to the Venetian 
cause to attempt to win by pitched battles. 

The instructions to the two generals (Pitigliano and 
d'Alviano) appointed to the command of the Venetian forces 
at this juncture, were to avoid hand-to-hand fighting with 
direct sieges, and simply to keep the enemy moving by a series 
of marches and counter-marches. It was the hope of Venice 
that so many allies could not for very long keep the peace among 
themselves. Every effort was made to detach one party or 
another from the League. At the same time, Venice held to 
her own. She could not do otherwise. Never less than at 
that time could she afford to surrender her dominion of ierra 
firma. Her sea power was waning. 

Vasco di Gama had sailed round the Cape of Good Hope 
in 1497. Columbus had discovered America in 1492. Venice 
was no longer the gateway of all seas. The centres of trade 
had shifted. The western Indies were striving against the 
eastern. There was a southern route to India that had no 
port of call in the Mediterranean. Other nations were sending 
other navies to shores as rich as those of the Levant. What 
could Venice do but temporize ? It was impossible to defy. 
Yet one fatal mistake she made at this time, and it may be that 
Doge Loredano was as responsible as any other Venetian 
Councillor for the making of it. The dividing of the command 
between Pitigliano and d'Alviano led to disaster, as all excess- 
cessive precautions and too stringent limitations of individual 
authority must lead. Pitigliano followed the instructions of 
his government, both in spirit and in letter, but d'Alviano, im- 
petuous, brave and dashing, although he professed to take 
advice of the elder comniander as of his own father, could not 
see the obnoxious enemy near and not offer battle, and so lost a 


fight and made many difficulties for the Venetian side that 
consideration would have avoided. Consideration had its 
losses also. In particular, Doge Loredano's long address to an 
ambassador sent secretly to him from the Emperor, failed to 
achieve the result of gaining Maximilian's agreement to the 
holding by Venice of Padua, Treviso, Verona and other cities 
of north Italy, on condition of the Doge aiding the 
Emperor to recover Milan from the French. All the 
protests of Loredano that the Republic was devoted to the 
Imperial interests, that he himself held the Emperor very dear, 
and that, provided the Venetian right to keep the older cities 
were recognized, all the places taken during the last year from 
the Emperor would be given up to him, did not prevail. Maxi- 
milian was determined on the recovery of Padua, and German 
troops were soon pouring through Friuli and laying siege to the 
ancient university town. 

Padua was actually occupied by the Imperial forces for 
some days during the course of operations, but Andrea 
Gritti, who had been Proveditor with the Venetian army in 
Padua, and was at once a resourceful public servant and an 
intrepid and valorous commander of men, devised^ a plan of 
retaking the place. 

Three great waggons with country produce were sent to 
the city which, under the Germans, as under the Venetians, 
was greatly in want of provisions. The first two went in 
quickly enough over the drawbridge let down for their passage, 
but the third was brought to a standstill by a mysterious 
mishap, and, before it could be started again, a force of Vene- 
tian horse clattered over the bridge, the riders shouting Marco ! 
Marco ! 

Some desperate fighting in the streets resulted in the clear- 
ance of Padua from the German occupiers (many of whom 
were imprisoned in the town) and in the re-establishment of 
Gritti as Governor. But again Maximilian came beneath the 
walls in which the German and Spanish artillery had made a 
breach so formidable that it was seen to be an easy task for 
the morrow, to take Padua by assault. The inhabitants, how- 
ever, found a means in the night to fill the moat surrounding 
the city with water, and the assault could not be made. 


Then did Maximilian draw off considerable bodies of his 
forces, but Pitigliano, fearing strategy and faithful to the 
original plan of campaign, would not let the Venetian troops 
issue in pursuit. His orders were for the employment of all 
forces in strengthening the fortifications of the city. This plan 
seemed an excess of caution to Andrea Gritti, who at once wrote 
to the Senate regretting that that body, in its wisdom, had not 
allowed the army in Padua to pursue the enemy, among whom, 
as he had certain notice, there had been much disorder and great 
lack of victuals. Only a light company had been allowed to ride 
out and infest the enemy's rear, and, from a tower, Gritti had 
observed the good execution done by even this small force. He 
had also seen troops of Spaniards, rich, but not satisfied with 
booty, devastating the surrounding country with fire and rapine, 
and laughing at the garrison that dared not go forth to oppose 
their rush of spoliation. Gritti further told the Signory that 
to suffer so much insolence was damaging to Venetian reputa- 
tion. It was to be hoped a more decided victory might yet be 
reported by Pitigliano, and that the town might be relieved of 
the embarrassment of having so many prisoners with their 
baggage, to take care of. 

This letter from a statesman differing much in temperament 
and opinion from Loredano, yet equally a patriot and a 
Venetian, inspired a great speech, made by the Doge in full 
Council, in which he very clearly showed that upon the fate of 
Padua depended that of the Republic itself. 

" Let us hasten then," he cried, " with our goods and 
persons. I myseK would go, if the decrepitudes of my age did 
not take from me all hope of being of use in this emergency. 
But I will send my two sons, and with them shall go all who 
will follow the example they are about to set." 

No time was lost, for on the following day Alvise and 
Bernardo Loredano, with about twenty-five other young 
patricians, set out on four well-provisioned barks for Padua. 
Others quickly followed — one taking with him at his own 
expense twenty-five horsemen. In all, sixty-six young nobles 
with about a hundred followers, formed the relief expedition. 

Andrea Gritti again wrote to the Government an exact 
account of the condition of the city and of all the works carried 


out there, and a dispatch from the Senate encouraged and 
urged the President, the citizens and the servitors of Padua to 
give a good account of themselves and to maintain in glory 
the name of Venice. This they so effectually did that all the 
bombardments of artillery against the reconstructed walls 
and all the Imperial messages of conciliation to the populace 
of Padua proved unavailing. On the 2nd of October 1509 
the Emperor was forced to raise the siege and retire on 
Vicenza, whence very shortly afterwards he returned to 

As soon as Padua was foimd to be safe from assault, Andrea 
Gritti sent messages into the surrounding districts offering 
pardons to those who had been driven by fear of the Emperor 
into siding with him, and inviting them to return to their 
allegiance to Venice. To encourage the timid, he made a great 
display of force by drafting and marshalling new troops. This 
manoeuvre was reassuring. 

The discomfiture of the enemy had been complete and 
Venice had gained a moral as well as a substantial victory. 
Nevertheless, the League appeared to be imshaken, and, in 
despair, an appeal was made by the Signory for help from the 
Turkish Sultan. This move had at least the effect of keeping 
the King of Hungary from sending forces to the aid of the 
German Emperor. Further appeals were also made to King 
Henry vii of England and to the King of France, but always, 
at heart, the Signory desired more than all to get on terms 
again with the Pope. At last, after many offers of con- 
cessions on all the points which had been quoted as causes 
of offence in the Bull of Excommunication, JuUus 11 consented 
to repeal his Interdict and to give Absolution in an audience of 
great ecclesiastical state to a representative of the Signory, who 
on his part had to show many signs of abasement and contrition. 
Although peace was restored with the potentate who was 
regarded nominally as the King of Italy, Venice remained at war 
with the other signatories to the famous League of Cambray. 
But the partition of her territory never took place as planned, 
and her holdings on the Mediterranean and the Adriatic were 
very little reduced. Evidences of her wonderful recuperative 
power were afforded at Carnival time in 1510, Feasts, pageants, 


coinedies, improvisations, burlesques and buffoonery were 
among the entertainments which surpassed all previous ones 
in device and display. 

Venice was herself again, but yeeurs of flagellation and trial 
were yet in store for her, and years of test and trouble for 
Loredano. Yet there were recurrences of scenes of brightness. 
Notably, when the Doge, with d'Alviano at his side and an 
applauding populace pressing on the flanks of their troop of 
state, proceeded to the Church of St. Mark where the General 
received the standard he was to carry in a war on Milan. 
Calling him Illustrissimo Signore, Doge Loredano declared 
that he held d'Alviano in the same paternal affection he had 
ever felt for him, and that knowing his " singular virtue," his 
experience and inviolable faith, he had elected him to be 
captain over aU the army, and now presented him with standard 
and staff, the sjnnbols of his office. 

Staff in hand, d'Alviano took oath to fiilfil his trust, 
and the pair, accompanied by the Patriarch, issued from the 
church amid the immense crowd of officials and citizens that 
had gathered for the ceremony and preceded by the standcird 
and by trumpeters blowing their blasts. 

Having received the glory, d'Alviano had to do his 
work. It was the old story of the intrepid and adventurous 
man at arms being controlled and, as it seemed to him, greatly 
hiudered by a war poUcy formulated in council chambers. 
But he submitted to orders better now than he had done in 
earlier years, and, at the same time, acted qtiickly and upon 
his own responsibihty when he saw the occasion required 
a bold front and great promptitude. So when, after the 
retirement of the French from the first conflict, the Spaniards 
were known to be marching on Padua and Treviso, d'Alviano 
hastened before them to the threatened cities, and was already 
in Padua with his forces when Cardona the Spanish captain 
attempted the assault. Being driven off, Cardona was not 
content with devastating the neighbourhood. Just to satisfy 
his vanity he marched to the shores of the lagoons, and from 
Malghera fired some cannon-shots in the direction of Rialto. 
The consternation was great. Not only did d'Alviano issue 
from his partly beleaguered position, but Leonardo Loredano 


ascended the ducal chair and deUvered a harangue in his most 
grandiose and fervent manner. 

God who had helped them in the past and driven the French 
out of Italy, he said, could help them now against the fury 
of the Germans and Spaniards, who had burned Lizzafusina 
and Malghera, almost burned Mestre, and threatened even 
Venice with destruction. To-day their army had come out of 
Padua, marching with great vigour. They lacked nothing 
but money. The public treasury was not enough for the extra 
expenses. First, he must exhort aU to pay what they owed 
to the Signory. Let them no longer permit long entries in the 
books of the palace, but let them go promptly and pay the 
tenth they owed. Or they might do now as in the time 
when Antonio Contarini made a loan to the State of 60,000 
ducats, and Federigo Cornaro, seeing the need of the country, 
brought fifteen ingots of silver to the mint. By such means 
they themselves had risen from being the fisher-folk they had 
been, to such a height of greatness and grandeur that God was 
pleased to bring them low. Every one ought to give what 
money they could, were it little or much. 

Thus did Loredano eloquently appeal again for the volun- 
tary aid the State so greatly depended upon. He called also 
for volunteers to go to the defence of Padua, where they 
would find Cristoforo Moro as Proveditor, and to Treviso, where 
Monsignor Andrea Gritti was in charge. 

This speech of the Doge, although in his old impassioned 
manner, failed somewhat in effect. The compulsion of a per- 
sonal example wels lacking. Loredano did not this time offer 
to head the public subscription he called for, and he neither 
promised to go himself nor undertook to send his sons to the 
distressed cities. It was as if the Doge and his auditors alike 
were awaiting confirmation of the bad tidings. When the 
danger thickened, however, some considerable reinforcements 
of patricians and plebeians went to the aid of d' Alviano, and 
through one channel or another sufficient funds flowed in upon 
the Government to meet the special expenses. 

Leonardo Loredano was now seventy-six years old, but 
eight years of life lay before him ; eight years in which he did 
not play at royalty, but bore himself, even as he had done in 




the past, with true regaUty. His sumptuous obsequies seemed 
a fitting tribute to his great distinction. The gracious 
princes, his sons, were the chief mourners of his loss. The 
eldest of them, Lorenzo, a Procurator, followed close at his 
father's bier. 

In the Promissione of Loredano's successor — Antonio 
Grimani — it was forbidden to a Doge to give more than evasive 
answers to Ambassadors before consulting the Cabinet or other 
Council. It was also forbidden for him to have anything to 
do with the collection of taxes. Perhaps the caustic observa- 
tion of Loredano concerning the advisability of paying at 
once, rather than subscribing to contingent guarantees and 
pledges in the Government books, was not an acceptable one 
to Councillors in general. Loredano had certainly concerned 
himself greatly with the methods of taxation which he would 
have liked to reform, and it was thought best to let the world 
and the next Doge know that the head of the Venetian State 
had no prerogatives in regard to the fixing of imposts. 

Nevertheless, the whole question of raising subsidies was 
becoming a pressing one, and had to be legislated for within 
a few years of Loredano's death. The need of increased 
armaments by sea and land called for a larger and more regular 
state income than that which came from the duties on imports 
and from licences for carrying on certain businesses and arts. 
As the wise Doge had seen, a more business-like system of 
individual tolls and prompt payments would have been a real 
reform. Many proposals for income and poll taxes were put 
forward in the Senate from time to time, but the Venetians 
could not agree upon a tax that would not fall more heavily 
upon the poor than upon the rich. The fact had to be balanced 
that the nobles and the wealthy gave of free-will, in times of 
crisis, more than could be demanded at any time of the com- 
moner folk, and the result of all the discussions which Lore- 
dano's criticisms had first excited, was the establishment in the 
reign of Doge Pietro Lando (1539-1545) of higher dues on all 
cloth sold throughout the empire. This was necessarily a tax 
that the poorer people greatly resented, and it in no way 
advanced the reform Loredano had desired. But it was not 
required of the Doge of Venice to be a reformer, and, as if to 


emphasize the objections of the Signory to originality in their 
Chief, the successor of Loredano was an aged pubhc servant 
whose only capacity, in his dotage, seemed to be that of 
uttering pious platitudes and making heroic promises that were 
quite beyond his power to perform. To the state function- 
aries in the Church of St. Mark at his coronation, as well as to 
the people who thronged before the palace when he appeared 
as their crowned Doge in the loggia, Grimani promised liberally 
justice, abundance and peace. He qualified his pledge with 
the assurance that if wax did break out he would act gallantly 
and proceed in person against the enemy. Before two years 
had passed, efforts were made to induce the now obviously 
doddering one to retire. He was offered 2000 ducats a year 
for life and a ducal funeral. But had he been himself willing 
to resign, there were his relatives and particularly certain 
scheming nephews, who enjoyed the liberties of the palace 
residence and other benefits, who upheld him in the view 
that such an offer was an insult. Grimani died, however, 
before matters came to a crisis. 

































A.D. 1522 TO 1578 

Michael, by special favour of the Signory and of the 
King of France who bestowed the order, was an envoy 
and Proveditor who had niled men and directed military opera- 
tions in many cities under the sway of the Repubhc, even before 
he became Proveditor-General of the Venetian army, in which 
capacity he exercised practically vice-ducal functions. He was 
one of those rare but popular heroes who appear to obtain all 
by graces of manner and person, but who, in reality, exercise 
considerable forethought and ingenuity in carrying their plans 
of govenmient and generally getting their own way. From 
the days when, as an emissary of his Government in Turkey 
and in France, he had endiured hardship even to the extent 
of suffering imprisonment in both countries, and on through 
the period of the League of Cambray when he had so cleverly 
and courageously held Padua and Treviso for Venice, Gritti had 
proved himself a gallant soldier and an independent thinker. 
He was perhaps less well-known in Venice ifself than in other 
parts of the Empire, and, in any case, he was not the candidate 
for the Dogeship most popular with the people. 

" Um, Um, Trum, Trum," had been the sing-song cry of 
the crowds that gathered in the Piazza at the election-time. 
Trum, or Tron, was a grandson of the imsightly Nicolo, whose 
wealthy descendants long remained popular. And even 
after Doge Gritti had been presented to the people and his 
largesse freely distributed, there broke forth at intervals from 
the resentful mass " Um, Um, Trum, Trum ! " But Andrea 


A.D. 1522 TO 1578 

Michael, by special favour of the Signory and of the 
King of France who bestowed the order, was an envoy 
and Proveditor who had ruled men and directed military opera- 
tions in many cities under the sway of the Republic, even before 
he became Proveditor-General of the Venetian army, in which 
capacity he exercised practically vice-ducal functions. He was 
one of those rare but popular heroes who appear to obtain all 
by graces of maimer and person, but who, in reality, exercise 
considerable forethought and ingenuity in carrying their plans 
of government and generally getting their own way. From 
the days when, as an emissary of his Government in Turkey 
and in France, he had endured hardship even to the extent 
of suffering imprisomnent in both countries, and on through 
the period of the League of Cambray when he had so cleverly 
and courageously held Padua and Treviso for Venice, Gritti had 
proved himself a gallant soldier and an independent thinker. 
He was perhaps less well-known in Venice ifself than in other 
parts of the Empire, and, in any case, he was not the candidate 
for the Dogeship most popular with the people. 

" Um, Um, Trum, Trum," had been the sing-song cry of 
the crowds that gathered in the Piazza at the election-time. 
Trum, or Tron, was a grandson of the unsightly Nicolo, whose 
wealthy descendants long remained popular. And even 
after Doge Gritti had been presented to the people and his 
largesse freely distributed, there broke forth at intervals from 
the resentful mass " Um, Um, Trum, Trum ! " But Andrea 


Gritti won his own popularity in the end. Who could resist 
him ? Not only did he order a large quantity of flour he had 
in store, to be sold cheap to the populace, but he continued 
a long-established practice of distributing to the poor on a 
certain day in every week as much money as he could spare. 
His rewards to those he considered had served the Republic 
well in any capacity were so liberal that some desired to 
restrain his generosity in this respect. He never forgot a 
kindness to himself, saying he owed much to those who had 
been the means at any time of giving him enjoyment, and he 
never ceased to do things for the advantage of any one he had 
ever called a friend. Of his aspect when giving and receiving 
friendly greeting or official salute, it was said that " nothing 
could be more hilarious or jocund." When offended, however, 
nothing could be more terrible than the look his countenance 
assumed. Accustomed always to speak according to conscience, 
he was intolerant in the extreme of any who practised the arts 
of dissimulation. A very tenacious memory and a great 
perspicacity in judging men were other characteristics of 
this Doge who was a considerable asset of the national wealth. 
The extraordinary balance of his nature was further proved by 
his own saying that he had never in his life been so occupied 
with serious affairs as not to be able to enjoy pleasurable 
intervals, and, on the other hand, he had never so abandoned 
himself to pleasures as to neglect serious business. 

Yet for all his valuable qualities, we must regard Gritti as 
an exception, both as man and Doge, to most of the rules 
whereby his manhood and his office should have been governed. 
Of a lavish habit, he spent all his money in his lifetime 
and left nothing for his heirs, although it is to be supposed 
they had need of some estate from their father. He was 
a voluptuary too. Perhaps not more self-indulgent than 
many who kept their lapses secret, for Gritti in his whole- 
souled, open-handed way, let all the world know of his 
liaison when in Turkey with a Greek woman, and he gave his 
illegitimate sons by her, offices under government for which, 
in his discernment of men and the times, he knew them to be 
fitted. He was doubtless a widower when he came to the 
throne, and his legitimate son, Francesco, was already estab- 


lished in Venice. An old serving-woman, Martha, exercised 
over him the only feminine influence of his later years — the 
influence of an old nurse or family " goody." When dishes 
of an indigestible nature were set before the aged Doge, 
Martha was always called to the rescue by his sons, who could 
never themselves persuade their father to eat only what was 
good for him. Gritti, indeed, seems to have been something 
of a glutton in his years, but, for all his enjoyment of food, he 
displayed no tendency to corpulence. Physically and morally, 
therefore, he has to be regarded as one of those wonders 
among humankind who seem only too successfully to defy the 
ordinary rules of health and to disregard the customary 
conventions of society. 

He was the seventy-seventh Doge of Venice and the 
inheritor of almost as many Promissioni whereby the ducal 
autonomy and ambition had been, item by item, restricted. 
In taking his own oath, he had had to renounce the practice 
of receiving the thanks of the magistrates with the compli- 
ments of their ladies upon their appointments, and to agree 
that no relative of his shotild be appointed to an ecclesiastical 
benefice. Moreover, he was not to display upon any part of 
the Ducal Palace his family tree or personal initials. Never- 
theless, he arrogated, during his reign, more authority than 
had been exercised by many Doges before him, and to this 
day the sculpture in relief of Doge Gritti kneeling before the 
Lion of Comata is the central feature of the decoration of the 
Piazzetta gate of the Ducal Palace. If Councillors were not at 
hand when he received dispatches he opened and read them, 
although it was quite contrary to the laws for him to do so. 
Especially did he defy the law in times of war, and perhaps, 
on occasions, it was well for Venice that he did defy it. 
Firm to obstinacy in his opinions, he hated to give way to the 
views of a majority in council. His love of luxury and show 
was carried to an extreme in the state he kept as Doge, but 
in his encourag;ement of industries and all learned studies his 
magnificence served the nation well. 

Not so good for the city, perhaps, would have been the 
carrying out of a private plan he had for enlarging the Ducal 
Palace by building vast apartments on the other side of the 


rio. He was already in personal negotiation for the purchase 
and demolition of houses overlooked by the windows of his 
private rooms in the palace, when death set his plans aside. 
The scheme was certainly far too extravagant for a Doge 
with an empty private plirse, at a time when public money 
was also scarce. Yet, for all that, Gritti did good to Venice. 
When the Emperor Charles v asserted his Imperial power 
by vanquishing Francis i at the battle of Pavia and sending 
him a prisoner into Spain, Doge Gritti had the difficult task 
of writing conciliatory and comforting letters to the mother 
of Francis, Louise of Savoy, who appealed to him to obtain the 
release of the King. He also conducted in person the corre- 
spondence which followed with Pope Clement vii (Giulio de 
Medici), who desired the aid of Venice in establishing, under 
Imperial protection, the Sforza in Milan and the Medici in 
Florence, and, moreover, required the withdrawal of Spanish 
troops from the papal states and the guaranteeing of papal 
territories against hostile insult. A treaty to secure these con- 
ditions had already been drawn up when Clement first wrote to 
Gritti. Venice was given twenty days to adhere to it. The 
Doge objected to sign a treaty the clauses of which had not 
been submitted to him, but to please His Holiness and as com- 
pensation for not sending troops in aid of Charles as the 
Pope had expected, he agreed to pay a sum of money to the 
high-handed Emperor, who had cheerily said to the Venetian 
ambassadors sent to congratulate him after Pavia — 

"It is necessary for me to have many expenses. Yoit 
are rich and have no need for great expenses ; it is fitting, 
therefore, that you should assist me." 

For the moment it was the easiest way out of a difficulty 
for Venice to promise a money compensation, though money 
was not as plentiful on Rialto as the Emperor had been led 
to think. Before the fifteen years' reign of Gritti came to 
an end, there was an outbreak in Venice of plague, brought 
thither from those fields of carnage with which Italy, as the 
arena of German and French struggles for the preponderating 
influence, was besmeared from end to end. The reapplication 
by the government of Gritti of the excellent sanitary regula- 
tions which had imdoubtedly been allowed to lapse, did not 


result in a speedy stamping out of the pest, but a praise- 
worthy forethought was exercised in the appointment, before 
any shortage of food was actually felt, of Proveditori sopra 
le vittuarie to give doles when the time of famine came. The 
consciousness of having done his best, both through his 
weekly personal charities and the public provision of the 
Proveditori, must have comforted Gritti in the painful experi- 
ence that came to him in the year 1527, when paying a 
customary official visit to the Church of San Giobbe on the 
19th of March. He was surrounded by a wild crowd of women 
who cried out " Abundantia, abundantia ! " The cry was an 
appeal, not a threat, and Gritti had, to the utmost of his 
power, anticipated the plea. But one cannot regard it as 
a mark of special captiousness in that despondent chronicler 
Sanudo, that he compared the scene on the way to San Giobbe, 
and the fact that hundreds of persons did actually perish 
from starvation during that sad spring, with the gaiety and 
festivity of the rich at the same Carnival time — a gaiety 
which Gritti certainly did not condemn, but, as prince of 
good feUows, undoubtedly shared. 

In spite of his shortcomings, Gritti proved himself on 
many occasions a saviour of his country. In difficult and 
stormy times he wielded with equal skill the weapons of 
policy and force, and it was no mere eulogy of officialism 
that Bernardo Navagero, citizen and historian of Venice, 
pronounced at his funeral. Never was prince more 
highly praised, with f ulsomeness avoided. Navagero's oration 
had in it a true thrill when he called upon the young 
nobles whom rank, temperament and ability summoned to 
the government of their country, to admire and imitate the 
most enlightened prince they were met to bury. They were 
not to consider the luxury and grandeur of Gritti's ducal 
state, but to remember the toilsome path by which he had 
arrived at greatness. They were to think of the blameless- 
ness of his rule over his subjects, his assiduity in rebuffing 
national adversity, and the constant tenor of his soul in 
every up and down of fortune. These alone were the acts 
which could procure perpetual dignity for their country, and 
glory for themselves. Finally, they were to be instructed by 


the example of Doge Gritti that the chief care of Venetian 
citizens was ever the RepubUc. To the RepubHc must be 
consecrated all their thoughts, so long as life endured. Thus 
alone would they attain to an immortal existence in the minds 
of their countrymen, in the -mouths of foreigners, and in the 
records of every future age ! 

The custom of choosing a Doge only from among the 
oldest and most exhausted of the public servants, had already 
been established before Andrea Gritti broke that rule, as he 
broke so many others, by assertions of his ever - youthful 
vigour and his ever-developing capacity. But the hour was 
at hand when the electors were actually to despise force of 
character and physical strength, and to seek only a venerable 
aspect and an unoffending spirit in the figure-head for their 
State. As in the case of Antonio Grimani, the Councillors 
overreached themselves again and again in their great efforts 
after harmless age. Some obstinacies of dotage are worse 
than any of the obstinacies of prime. But more and more 
the government of Venice hardened into a system which 
was weakened rather than aided by princely qualities in the 

The Council of the Ten, originally called into temporary 
being at the time of the Tiepolo conspiracy, had become a 
permanent institution. To the three chiefs had been gradually 
given, for the sake of further secrecy, promptitude and safety, 
greater and more arbitrary powers than had been delegated to 
the original Ten. We are not to believe — so Romanin and other 
authoritative historians tell us — all we have heard and read of 
the dark doings of the sinister Three. They were at all times 
accountable to the Ten and the Ten to the Great Council. More- 
over, the latter body had grown so enormously that, as a 
Pariiament, it was quite precluded from dealing with details of 
government. The Senate — a body of three hundred experts — 
had to initiate all legislation, to control foreign affairs, and 
to organize the army and navy. The Forty (Quarantia) did 
justice in all matters of common criminality, but the Ten 
ruled, and the Three within the Ten wielded indeed a political 
power that was sometimes of the greatest service ; at others the 
deadliest injury to the country which permitted such secret 




methods. And with these three supreme ones acting in 
ultimate dependence on the Great Council, and with a 
nimierous executive controlling all departments of the national 
life, there was little need, as it seemed to his peers in birth 
and training, for the most highly honoured officer among 
them to have any initiative, any dominating talent, any 
personal power at all. So the Dogeship came to be regarded 
more as a retiring honour to a statesman worn out in the 
public service, than as the investiture of a live man with a 
true sovereignty. 

This being the case, one understands the much-praised 
patriotism of Francesco Donato, who, when he had actually 
received a majority of suffrages, after the death of Doge Gritti, 
voluntarily withdrew his name in favour of that of Pietro 
Lando, saying that longer delay in announcing the Doge was 
a danger to the interests of the State. Donato at all times 
spoke with facile and fine eloquence, and his words on this 
occasion seem to have been a cover to the thought that Lando's 
years deserved the honour which, in the ordiaary course of 
nature, would fall to himself in turn. At any rate, it happened 
in that way ; and Pietro Lando, who had many times been an 
ambassador, who as Podesta during five years at Padua had 
greatly contributed to the lustre of that University, who as 
Lord High Admiral of the Seas had reconquered the coast- 
towns of Puglia for Venice, and who had been a Procurator of 
St. Mark, reigned for six years. It was while he was Doge 
that the extension of the authority of the Council of the Ten 
to thej charge of grave matters of foreign policy was signalized 
by the dispatch of an envoy with their secret instructions 
to arrange a peace with the Sultan of Turkey ; this peace 
included the cession by Venice to Turkey of the long-struggled- 
for Neapoli in Roumania. In Lando's reign too, the Ten 
issued their famous Parte ^ (a.d. 1539), in which the causes for 
which it was necessary to establish an Inquisition of State 
were very reasonably set out. The need of sudden and pre- 
ventive justice to save the country from the attacks of spies 
and traitors, and the want of a more extended system of 
secret inquiry to prevent the home government remaining too 

' Resolution. 


long in ignorance of foreign machinations of the kind of the 
League of Cambray, were met by the constitution of the bqdy 
of the one red and two black Inquisitors ; the red one (so-called 
from his crimson livery of ducal state) being chosen from the 
Privy Council of the Doge, and the black ones from the Council 
of the Ten. 

To Pietro Lando succeeded Francesco Donato, with whom 
came a reign of peace. In all the various charges undertaken by 
him for the Republic, Donato had proved himself a man of great 
capacity. In 1504 he had gone as Ambassador to Ferdinand 
of Aragon, who made him a knight, and in 1509 he was 
envoy to Henry viii of England. In his religious views he 
typified many Venetian Cathohcs of his own and later times ; 
for while persuading his countrymen to be at peace with the 
Turk and to surrender cherished colonies of Christian Venice 
to the Mahommedan power, he assiduously supported the 
Patriarch of Aquileia (Giovanni Grimani) in defending ortho- 
doxy against heresy, and favoured the appointment, as officers 
of the Venetian Government, of three Savii dell 'Eresia for 
stamping out Protestantism. A lover of letters and the fine 
arts, he contributed to the embellishment of Venice which 
the peace in his reign so greatly favoured. It was at this 
time that the Ducal Palace was very largely re-built and made 
finally into the magnificent structure it stiU remains. The old 
Library, projected by Sansovino in 1536, was definitely begun, 
and the Mint {Zecca) finished during the five years he occupied 
the throne. 

In the twenty-five years following Donato's death, eight 
aged worthies succeeded each other as Doges. The only 
memorable characters among them were the three last, Alvise 
MocENiGO (1570), Sebastiano Veniero (1577), and Nicolo 
DA PoNTE (1578). The names of the brothers Priuli (Lorenzo 
who was elected in 1556, and Girolamo who succeeded him in 
1559), should, however, be remembered as those of wise and 
honest old men, of irreproachable conduct. Lorenzo was a 
particular favourite of the people, and on his Dogaressa (Zilia 
Dandolo) the special honour of solemn " coronation " was 

The ceremonies of the progress of " La Priuli " from the 


family palace on the Grand Canal to the Church of St. Mark, 
were extraordinarily complex and brilliant, and form a striking 
example of the style of sixteenth-century pageantry. All 
subsequent " triumphs " of Dogaresse were modelled on that 
of Zilia Dandolo PriuU, but to very few of her successors were 
the supreme honours accorded. 

When Doge Pietro Loredano died in March 1570, the 
Great Council sanctioned the omission of the ordinary methods 
of electing a Doge and ordered the Savii of the Cabinet, and 
the Governors of the Arsenal and of the Ofi&ce of Armaments, 
not to remove their attention from the more important busi- 
nesses they had in hand. The elections of the five Correctors of 
the Ducal Promission and of the three Inquisitors in the affairs 
of the Doge defunct, were also dispensed with. This unusual 
course was followed owing to the urgency of the moment 
regarding the relations of Venice with the Turks. So Alvise 
MocENiGO, who was installed as Doge only four days after 
Ldredano's death, came to his throne in troublous times. He 
was in all respects a wise choice. Of illustrious family, he 
had served his country long and with great devotion. His 
personal virtue was unassailable, and he was soon seen to be 
exerting himself to the utmost to deal with both home and 
foreign affairs in a manner their gravity demanded. 

The situation was indeed grave. The Sultan had demanded 
the re-deliverance of Cyprus into Mahommedan hands, and 
the answer of Venice had been a haughty refusal and the 
dispatch of artillery of every sort, with great quantities of 
ammunition, to the island. 

One of the first concerns of Doge Alvise Mocenigo, therefore, 
was an appeal to all the Princes of Europe — including the 
Queen-Mother Catherine de Medici of France and the Czar of 
Muscovy — ^for help against the threatened danger to Christian 
Power. Of all those appealed to, only the Pope and Philip of 
Spain (to whom a future Doge, Leonardo Donato, had been 
sent as Venetian orator) responded with any promises of help. 
Bitter was the grievance of Venice that France and Germany 
were both too much disturbed by struggles between Catholics 
and Protestants to have time or means for a Holy War against 
the Turk. The assistance of Philip of Spain too, proved 


in the end to be grudgingly given. His mind was set rather 
on reducing to submission his rebel subjects in Flanders and on 
carrying into the Low Countries a religious Inquisition. The 
quarrels of the Christians made the opportunity of the Turks. 

The humiliating loss of Cyprus with its capital Famagosta 
— of rare mediaeval strength and beauty — is not properly an 
incident in the actual life of any Doge of Venice, so the story 
of the famous siege and capitulation need not be told here. 
But the case is contrary in regard to the great sea-victory of 
Lepanto, which retrieved the lost fortunes at Famagosta and 
turned the mourning city of Venice into a place of public re- 
joicing and universal transport of delight. 

The " hero of Lepanto " was the same Sebastiano Veniero 
who had been sent to Corfu at the first alarm of hostilities, and 
who, after the loss of Cyprus, was given with Don John of 
Austria and Colonna of Rome, the joint command of the allied 
fleets of Spain, Venice and the Holy See. Over two hundred 
vessels in aU sailed under the three admirals from Messina, 
where their junction was first made, to Corfu, where they held a 
Council of War. After a long debate, the opinion of Veniero 
prevailed. He maintained that, at all costs, the Turks must 
be hunted out of hiding-places and engaged. It would be too 
much dishonour if, after so much preparation for war, so much 
money spent, so many contributions extorted from the popu- 
lace and so many fair hopes excited, they should return home 
without even seeing the enemy. 

AU the eloquence of Veniero was needed to induce his asso- 
ciates in the command to carry out the duty that had been 
assigned to them, but his patience more than his eloquence was 
required when the allies were again afloat. Going from Corfu 
to Cephalonia, and onwards, Veniero was greatly harrassed, as he 
himself wrote in a dispatch, by " the insubordination of the 
allied Armada, and the difficulty of getting it into action." He 
added that the insolence of the Spaniards made him despair. 

There was, however, no cause to complain of the bravery 
of Don John, when once the enemy was sighted. He was young 
and conceited and, unfortunately for those who held the 
command with him, of a rank that put him quite above the 
necessity of answering to his Government for his performances 


or neglects as an Admiral. But when at rise of sun on 
7th October 1571, the Christian fleets discovered the Moslem 
Armada in the Gulf of Lepanto, and the signal for battle 
flew from Veniero's flag-ship, Don John went aboard a frigate 
and sailed in and out among his ships, beseeching his men to 
acquit themselves well and encouraging them with reminders 
of the need there was for good fighting, of the dangers and of 
the glory and the magnificent spoils of a successful issue. 
" Vittorial Vittoria!" was the cry with which the Venetians 
flung themselves on the enemy., They thought only of the glory 
and the spoils. As for Veniero, his diligence was a marvel. 

As the engagement, which became general almost at once, 
proceeded, the natmral impulses of seamen brought the galleys 
out one after another from the rocky shoals of the Curzolari 
waters, into the open sea. By this process, the line of battle Was 
made to extend four mfles, and Ali, the Turkish Admiral-in -chief , 
thought he had the whole of the opposing army before him, 
when the left wing had as yet not issued from the Gulf. The 
conflict throughout was desperate ; the flag-ships in both fleets 
came to grips, and, in the end, the galley of Ali was taken and 
Ali himself killed. The slaughter was terrible, the loss on the 
Christian side amounting to eight thousand men, among whom 
were twenty-nine Venetian nobles. A more than noble in 
the Spanish host — Michele Cervantes — lost an arm, but lived 
to create the immortal Don Quixote. The number of dead 
among the Turks must have been enormous. Seventeen of 
their ships fell into the hands of the allies, and many 
Turkish frigates went to the bottom of the sea. Five thousand 
prisoners were taken, and a number of slaves set at liberty by 
the victors. Veniero had no cause to regret his exhortation of 
his fellows in command. The victory was to his patriotism and 
heroic character, as much as to his strategy and energy. Don 
John's princely courage also bore a part. 

But the joy of the fleet, sobered by the sight of horrible 
wreckage floating in a sea dyed deep with blood, did not match 
the ecstasy of Venice when only ten days later, at six in the 
evening, the galley dispatched by Veniero to convey the joyful 
news to the Doge sailed in upon the lagoon, trailing in the 
water the banners of the enemy, displaying on masts and 


rigging, turbans and other Turkish garments, and dischargir^ 
cannon alternately with the cries of " Vittoria ! Vittoria ! " 

At these sights and sounds, the people lately plunged in deep 
affliction for the loss of Cyprus, rushed in glad excitement to 
see the captain of the galley disembark and when he passed on 
to wait on the Doge at. the palace, they fell upon each others' 
necks and congratulated one another with sobs and smiles. 
Then the mob, becoming frantic, rushed to the prisons with 
cries of " Liberia ! Liberia .'" But only those imprisoned for 
debt were allowed to go free. No one attended to any 
business ; the shops were closed and the inscription Per la 
morte de Turchi put up on the shutters. No Venetian thought 
of leaving the Piazza until nightfall. Only the Turkish mer- 
chants deemed it the better part of valour to retire to their 
particular quarters. But it was the Jews, rather than the 
Turks, in Venice, who were in disfavour at this time. The plot 
to regain Cyprus had been attributed by the populace to the 
instigation of a Jew adviser of a Turkish general. It was the 
year 1571 — the very eve of the day of the writing of Shakes- 
peare's plays — and Shylocks, if not OtheUos, were commonly 
met on the Piazza and the Rialto. 

The news had only to be received by Doge Mocenigo, for 
him to issue with the whole of the Signory from the palace, 
and to repair to St. Mark for the singing of a Te Deum and the 
hearing of a funeral oration for the fallen in the fray. 

So great was the press of the people that it was with 
difficulty that the Doge made his way across the Piazza. 

An order went forth that for four days in the capital and 
other cities of the ierra firma, sacred hymns should be sung in 
procession. The day of the report of the victory was made a 
feast-day. A decree for the expulsion of the Hebrews and 
the Moors was also designed, but it did not have effect. The 
trophies taken from the Turks were piled into a huge 
pyramid in the Piazza, and the cloth-merchants of that vicinity 
decorated the shop-fronts with precious tapestries, and draped 
scarlet cloth round pictures displayed on walls of houses. 
Over all, a huge canopy of celestial blue cloth studded with 
golden stars, made a firmament of pomp. At each end of the 
Rialto Bridge was reared an arch, displaying the coats of 


arms of the Republic and the allies. Before the Church of San 
Jacopo an altar was set up, at which the divine offices were 
celebrated, and to which were made solemn processions of 
clergy, cloth-merchants and musicians from the ducal chapel, 
preceded by fifes, trumpets and tambourines. 

Splendid illuminations turned night into day; numerous 
orchestras sent forth sweet strains, and the final touch was 
given to festivity, by sanction to maskers to play their pranks 
and go giddily along the ways. 

Alvise Mocenigo was still Doge when, two years later, 
Henry iii, who had succeeded Charles ix on the throne of 
France, passed through Venice and was entertained with a 
sumptuousness of decoration, pageant and festivity never 
before attained to. Artists among the greatest, not only of 
their own, but of all time, assisted in the triumph. Andrea 
Palladio made the Arch of Welcome to the Monarch at S. 
Nicolo del Lido, and Paolo Veronese with Jacopo Tintoretto 
painted ten pictures representing incidents of the royal 
festivities. The Arts made their displays and gave their 
entertainments in decorated boats, and the festivities were 
crowned by the ball in the Sala del Maggior Consiglio^ and 
the: bcinquet served in the Scrutinio. 

But to the day of feasting succeeded a night of fast. 
Plague came again to the city and, in spite of all the provisions 
of health-acts and the activities of health-officers, came very 
badly. The door to the infection of the East was always wide 
at Venice. Isolation hospitals were used to some extent, and 
rules of quarantine laid down. But the plague came, and 
the plague stayed, and it was not only the poor people and 
those living under the more dangerous conditions who were 
taken. In the three years in which it decimated the inhabitants, 
high and low, over 50,000 persons perished by it. The 
numbers of the Maggiori Consiglii were soon so much reduced 
that they feared to meet at all. Several of the governmental 
departments were closed or removed out of the city. Only 
the Doge and his Senate did not give up their tasks or flee. 

On the day of the Nativity of the Madonna, which was 
that appointed for special intercessions, the Doge himself spoke 
to the people, exhorting them to penitence and to trust in 


God, and he pledged himself that a great church to the Re- 
deemer should be built as soon as the scourge passed. But 
not until the third Thursday in July in the year 1577 (the pest 
had first claimed victims in August 1575) was the announce- 
ment made that the city was clean again. Then on a bridge 
of boats made for the special purpose, did a Doge pass over to 
the Giudecca, on which island it had been arranged that 
Palladio was to build a church, to stand through centuries as a 
thank-offering of all Venice. Thus was established the annual 
custom of the Doge going by a bridge of boats to the Redentore. 
But it was Sebastiano Veniero and not Alvise Mocenigo who 
first trod the yielding boards. The Doge who had braved the 
plague, died while it yet raged, in March 1577. He had been 
well beloved. 

When the octogenarian victor of Lepanto ascended the 
throne, the Pope's " compliment " was the Golden Rose. 
That symbol of papal favour, blessed every year and sent always 
to a Prince or Princess whom the Pope has most cause (either 
on political or on religious grounds) to esteem, was received 
only five times in Venice in all the course of its long history. 

Sebastiano Veniero seemed vigorous enough both in mind 
and body when he came to the throne, but in less than a 
year his reign was over. It may have been that the shock and 
annoyance of the fire which consumed a considerable portion 
of the interior of the Ducal Palace, with numbers of its picures 
and art-treasures, in December 1577, hastened Veniero's end. 
He seems, however, to have borne himself calmly immediately 
after the outbreak ; for when the men from the Arsenal who 
had worked so well in reducing the flames and keeping order 
in the palace, refused an honorarium of 500 ducats voted to 
them by the Senate, saying that not only the work of their 
hands but their very lives were at the service of their lords, 
Veniero insisted that they should accept the gift. In deference 
to the Doge, they consulted their captain at the Arsenal, but 
his opinion being that no recompense should be taken, the 
500 ducats were again refused. Such devoted loyalty must 
have been gratifying to Veniero as to all Venice, and could 
not have failed to help an old hero to die proud of a country 
which could breed such honest servants of the State. 




A.D. 1578 TO 1605 

IT was characteristic that the first thought of the Venetians 
after they saw the fire in the palace extinguished, was how 
the damage could be repaired. The question having been 
referred to fifteen architects of the capital and various subject 
cities, opinions were divided between thoroughly clearing out 
and rebuilding the interior, and carefully restoring what was 
stUl left of the injured apartments. 

NicoLO DA PoNTE, eighty-seventh Doge of Venice, who 
succeeded Veniero, had to decide between the two methods. 
He approved the one of restoration, with the result that it is 
ours to-day to admire the manner in which all the original 
effect and grandeur of the Sala del Maggior ConsigUo were 

Doge Nicolo da Ponte was a theologian and a theorist who, 
like many another of the genre, did not allow theory to inter- 
fere too much with practice. 

Learned, supple and of deferential address, he had already 
served his country satisfactorily at the Council of Trent and on 
a mission to the Pope to justify the peace with Turkey. The 
integrity of his personal life and his graciousness to all men 
had won much admiration during governorships of Corfu, 
Padua and Udine. His first concern, as Doge, was to lighten 
the taxes and, at the same time, to replenish the public coffers 
which the recent war had almost emptied. These were praise- 
worthy designs, but they could only be carried out by the 
substitution of angry complaints against the Emperor of 
Germany and all rulers who connived at the incursions of 


the Uscocchi and other companies of pirates, for a bold policy of 
maritime aggression. Da Ponte had a reputation for modesty 
in expressing his views and for willingness to jdeld to opinions 
of others, but on the occasion of his reception in Council, of 
the ambassadors of the Emperor Rudolph come to deny the 
accusations of assisting the Uscocchi and thereby tempting the 
Turks to even worse depredations, the theologian Doge spoke 
out with great decision. If the miscreants had not been able 
to use the Imperial town of Segna as a starting-point, he said, 
they could not have become a cause of dispute between the 
two governments. Da Ponte had ample proofs to cite of 
German connivances, and the ambassadors, we are told, went 
away confounded. 

But it was an address by the Theologian-Doge in another 
year, and to other ambassadors, that most clearly demon- 
strated how subordinate to political instincts all the morals of 
a true Venetian could be. 

The story of Bianca Capello, which led to this demonstra- 
tion, is one of those tragedies of human career that are too 
full of anti-climaxes, if not too outrageous of all decencies, to 
be enacted complete upon a stage. Yet it abounds in dramatic 
action and theatrical sensation. The girl's giddiness has been 
attributed to her early loss of her mother, Pellegrina (Morosini), 
but the temperament of Bianca would have been hardly 
chastened even by the truest maternal care. 

Her first exploit, of entering, at the age of fifteen, into an 
" amorous correspondence " with a Florentine youth who 
was in Venice with an uncle who managed a bank, does not 
in itself show depravity. Juliet may have her Romeo and 
no discredit fall. Bianca must either have been very much in 
love or very much oppressed with the dullness of her father's 
house, for Pietro Bonaventura (a name of cynical comment 
on his story) was poor and she was rich. From her mother's 
estate she was to receive 6000 ducats. This fact was well 
known. It has been opined, therefore, that Bonaventura was 
a fortune-seeker. He became worse ; yet youthful and natural 
passion may have swayed him at twenty-four. Bianca was 
undoubtedly beautiful and fascinating. The active assistance 
given by Pietro's uncle to his love-suit indicates, however, 


that there was some fortune-hunting going on in the Bona- 
ventura family. Suggestion of venahty in Bianca also lies in 
the fact that she took with her, when she eloped on the night 
of 28th November 1563, all her jewels ; a rich store, doubtless 
her mother's before her. 

There was hue and cry in the household of Bartolommeo 
Capello when the flight of his daughter was discovered. 
Piteous was the father's description of the circumstances and 
of his grief, in the document drawn up in support of his suit 
against Pietro Bonaventura and Pietro's uncle Gian Battista. 
The Venetian pleaded for banishment of the Florentines with 
the customary penalties, and for the restoration of his child to 
a convent. All the redress sought by the injured parent was 
awarded him in law, but before the case could be given to 
Capello, the lovers were over the border, married and safely 
established in the house of the bridegroom's father on the 
Piazza of St. Mark in Florence. 

Now Pietro's mother was an invalid and the care of her 
house was left to a serving-maid. No wonder, therefore, that 
old Bonaventura, in order to meet the added expenses of the 
keep of the young couple, conceived the idea of dismissing 
the servant and making the robust and capable Bianca do 
the house-work ! We do not read that the gifted young bride 
rebelled against the arrangements of her father-in-law. It 
was not Bianca's way to rebel. There was no possibility of 
obtaining her dot. Her father had already offered the sum 
of it as a reward for the seizure and deliverance of her husband 
to Venetian justice. So Bianca found another way of living 
in the luxury that was her birthright. One may indeed pity 
poor Bianca at this juncture. Her love venture, perhaps in 
more ways than one, bad proved a great disappointment. 
She had not married to slave. But very soon it was revealed 
to her that her husband was as clay in her hands, to be modelled 
to any figure she wished to see him cut. Now a woman has no 
respect for a lump of formless clay. And there came into 
Bianca's ken a lord of the grand-ducal household — Pandolfo 
Bardi, Count of Verino — who made love to her. His ad- 
vances were received with favour. The Count of Verino was 
extraordinarily fond, but Bianca let him discover that she 


had higher flights of fancy yet. There was in Florence a 
greater than Verino. Francesco, son of the Grand-Duke 
Cosimo (de Medici), bad been given for consort the Archduchess 
Giovanna of Austria, a princess of remarkable beauty but of 
rigid manners ; a devotee and no lover of Tuscany or the 
Tuscan Hfe. Francesco neglected this lady and looked else- 
where for entertainment and for distraction from the monotony 
of unemployment. It was his custom to go about the city 
at night unattended, regardless alike of reputation and of 
safety. And it came about, through the intermediary offices 
of Bardi, that he went often to a dwelling on the Piazza of St. 
Mark. There he flung himself into the toils of the fair Venetian 
and made her grievances against her father and the Republic 
his own. Great was the public scandal when Francesco took 
Pietro Bonaventura into his household as his Master of Robes, 
and when he sought by the managements of the Apostolic 
Nuncio and the Florentine Envoy at Venice, to effect a re- 
conciliation between Bianca and her relatives, and to get the 
penalties against her husband remitted. The Republic and 
the Capello family, however, both remained obdurate, and for 
nine years the association of Francesco and Bianca retained 
a clandestine form. When seven years had passed, it was 
contrived that Pietro Bonaventura should be assassinated. 
No one doubted that the crime had been instigated by the 
august master of the victim, and Francesco himself subse- 
quently acknowledged that he had not interfered with the plan 
for removing Pietro, although he had known it existed. Mean- 
while Bianca had had a child she named after her long-dead 
mother, PeUegrina. But there came no blessing with the name, 
although it seems to have been the one thing the abandoned 
woman venerated. Some years later the little PeUegrina was 
i^ murdered by her own husband — a Ben^ivoglio of Bologna — 
because of infidelity. Eleven years had passed since the elope- 
ment of Bianca Capello, when the Grand-Duke Cosimo of 
Tuscany died and his son Francesco succeeded him. This 
was the great opportunity of the widow Bonaventura, and the 
new Grand-Duke needed no urging. In the fuU glow of her 
beauty, at twenty-six years of age, Bianca was established in 
a palace of her own, close to the habitation in which the Grand- 


Duchess bitterly complained of her lot, and sought her con- 
solation in acts of religion and piety. The Grand-Duke had 
his official residence with the Grand-Duchess, but Bianca 
was Mistress en titre. She was ceremoniously attended at all 
festivals. She received the homage of the courtiers, awarded 
posts and honours, and performed all the public duties of the 
Prince's wife. 

The function she most desired to perform, however, she 
was unable to fulfil. 

The Grand-Duke was desperately anxious for a son, either 
a princely heir by his Grand-Duchess, or a natural son to be 
invested with the succession. It had seemed more likely that 
he would obtain his heart's desire from the mother of Pellegrina 
than from the childless and devote Giovanna. Bianca at least 
sought the aid of potions, charms and incantations, to bring 
about the wished-for birth, but the months went by and no 
signs gave promise of a child. 

So Bianca resolved to play a trick on her credulous lover. 
The farce was long, for there had to be the preparation of 
appearances and, when the day came for the introduction into 
her palace, by her confidante and a suborned man of medicine, 
of a new-bom child, she simulated so realistically the pains 
of her supposed situation that the Grand-Duke, who watched 
all night by her bedside, was most genuinely moved and forced 
by his own emotion to retire from her room at dawn. The 
devoted courtiers he left behind as his representatives, for 
this was to be counted a dynastic birth, were induced by the 
clever arts of the supposed sufferer also to withdraw for a tinje, 
and then, when it was full day, the Grand-Duke was sent for 
and shown his son ! Great was his contentment, wonderful 
his faith. He desired to call the babe Antonio, believing that 
his prayers to the saint of that name had brought him this 
blessing of an heir. 

For a time the ruse succeeded, and when the Grand-Duke 
began to have suspicions, the unfortunate mother who had 
given up her child was sent by Bianca to Bologna and, on the 
road, received a shot-wound from a hidden arquebus, that 
brought about her death. It was not safe to serve too well the 
widow Bonaventura ! 


A year later there came another day of opportunity to 

The Grand-Duchess died early in the year i^8, and 
scarcely were her funeral services over before the question 
arose of the marriage of the Grand-Duke with Bianca. He 
had quite forgiven her for her fraud ; probably because he 
regarded it as an extraordinary proof of her desire to please 
him. Yet His Highness hesitated. There were questions of 
conscience. A grand-ducal theologian was consulted and, 
although grand-ducal, acquitted himself courageously. After 
a somewhat rigorous inquisition — the Grand-Duke answering 
the many questions with great frankness — the director decided 
that since Francesco had promised marriage to Bianca while 
his wife was still living and even before the assassination of 
Pietro Bonaventura, and for various other causes, their union 
could not now be legitimized according to the sacred canons. 

Then the Grand-Duke went off to the mountains, resolved 
to break with Bianca, but she so persecuted him with letters 
and finally htmted him down in person, that he consented 
to marry her, and the ceremony took place secretly in the 
month of June. When the year of mourning for Giovanna 
had passed, the marriage was announced and formal notice 
of it sent to the Signory of Venice. With the notice went 
directions to the Florentine envoys — the one resident, the 
other appointed for the special purpose — to obtain the signorial 
declaration that the spouse of Francesco was a " daughter of 
the Republic." Without this declaration, the Grand-Duke 
felt he could not raise Bianca to the throne. To be a " daughter 
of the Republic " in Venice was considered equivalent to 
being royal in a monarchical country. The Signory did not, at 
first, incline greatly to the Grand-Duke's request, but Bianca 
herself attacked the Doge in a series of letters, in which she 
protested with solemnity that she did not wish to enjoy her 
new dignity so much for her own sake as for the sake of the 
intimate union it would bring about between the Signory 
and a Prince akeady turned to Venice in affection, who would 
not lose an occasion of proving his friendship by deeds. As 
for herself, she offered to do all in her power to promote 
friendly relations between the two powers, fulfilling equally 


her duties as a most devoted daughter of His Serenity (the 
Doge) and the wife of His Highness (the Grand-Duke), a^d 
never failing in her obUgations to that country of which she 
would always hold herself to be a true and not unworthy 

Can one wonder that the patriot Doge — theology and 
theories notwithstanding — responded to such blandishments ? 
It was good for Venice to stand well with Florence. So to 
the ambassador of Francesco, da Ponte in his eighty-fifth 
year made an oration which was far from being a dotard's 
maundering, although indeed, for policy's sake, its terms were 
fatuous and extravagant. 

" Signor Ambassador," said the Doge, " when our Republic 
has had occasion to demonstrate its affection for and to give 
pleasure to the most illustrious and most excellent lord, the 
Grand-Duke of Tuscany, it has done it with that prompt 
willingness that always coincides with our paternal benevolence 
and strongest inclinations towards His Highness, and with the 
corresponding love and esteem he has for us ; the which being 
now demonstrated so abundantly and in such a confidential 
manner, we affirm certainly to your Serenity that a more 
gratifying occasion of this could not have been offered, there- 
fore say to His Highness, in our name, that since we do not 
wish our affection and his confidence ever to be destroyed, 
because of this most prudent resolution of his to take to wife 
the lady Bianca Capello, a gentlewoman of a most noble 
family of this country, adorned with those most illustrious 
and singular qualities that do indeed make her worthy of 
being thus highly raised, we feel the greatest satisfaction, in 
confirmation of which we have, with the Senate, created and 
declared her a true and particular daughter of our Republic, 
wherefore we render many thanks for the singular estimation 
and the particular account taken of us in this important 
negotiation, which touches so nearly to the person of His 
Highness and to the establishment of his posterity as worthy 
of the longest and happiest succession." 

And so was Bianca rehabilitated. But her career soon 
came to an end. She received the Golden Rose from the 
Pope, and became a benefactress to her family and a munificent 
patroness of poetry and the arts. Once again she tried to 
palm off a spurious son on the Grand-Duke, but was defeated 


by the vigilance of Francesco's Cardinal-brother, the heir pre- 
sumptive. She died at the early age of thirty-nine, predeceased 
by one day by her husband. The Cardinal ordered a post-mortem 
of her remains, to prove that he had not poisoned her, and 
directed that her body should not find sepulture in the tomb 
of the Medicii, but be thrown into a public grave. From 
this low resting-place, the Republic did not rescue its " true 
and particular daughter." 

At ninety years of age, Nicolo da Ponte being prepared 
to die, left to his country a curious legacy. It was the written 
expression of his views and theories concerning the pohcy 
Venice had best pursue, and it contained in detail his estimate 
of the character of that Philip who had been titular King of 
England by right of his marriage with Mary Tudor, before he 
became true monarch of Spain and the Low Countries. 

It was needful, so da Ponte asserted, for the Republic 
to guard itself particularly from the wUinesses and circum- 
spections of the Spaniards and their King. Without a doubt 
Philip's whole spirit was for monarchy, possessing, as he did, 
so many kingdoms and states and being otherwise made 
powerful by the acquisition of Portugal and the Indies. PhUip 
was by nature most haughty and most covetous of glory ; 
being young, he used to say that if his father, who had been 
bom the son of a King comparatively weak, had done so 
much, then he who was bom the son of an Emperor, ought to 
do much more. There was at present no power except that 
of the lord Turk which could resist Philip's. The King of 
France wished to, but France had been weakened by her 
civil discords and by having allowed the power of the Catholic 
King to grow so strong. Kings who aspire to absolute 
monarchy detest other princes. Specially detested by Philip 
in the depths of his soul, although he dissimulated, was the 
Republic that by the grace of God had reigned already for 
many centuries and that had the firm and secure founda- 
tion of its good and perpetual government. It was needful, 
therefore, for Venetians to treat PhiHp with the greatest 
deference and dexterity, honouring him with embassies, 
according to occasions, and conceding him such favours as 
they honestly could, while not revealing their French incUna- 


tions. They were to keep on good terms with neighbouring 
Princes and with successive Popes. But the supreme need 
was the raising of the greatest possible number of soldiers 
and good generals who, by their authority and protection, could 
so establish the Venetians in various parts of the world as to 
ensure their having the greatest possible accumulation of gold in 
the exchequer, with the ability to raise a loan at 3 or 4 per cent. 

This " testament," so Romanin tells us, was deposited 
in the archives of the Council of the Ten, and not much con- 
sideration was then given to it, although some found fault 
with it, as showing da Ponte's French leanings. " But there 
came a time," Romanin adds, " and not far off, in which 
men had to learn by sad experience that the aged Doge bad 
spoken what was true." 

Pasquale Cicogna was a man of prudence ajid piety, 
who had distinguished himself as governor of Canea in wars 
with the Turks. His election, however, was not very popular. 
The crowd shouted for Vicenzo Morosini, but when the election 
became protracted, Morosini withdrew his candidature, thus 
giving evidence of the generous nature which had gained his 
popularity. Cicogna was not liberal ; perhaps he was not 
rich. He had, however, a pretty sentiment, and as a memorial 
that the news of his elevation had come to him at Crociferi, 
he had the customary oselle — coins distributed as ducal 
largesse at the coronations — stamped with three crosses and 
the inscription, Hinc resurrectio ei salus. 

The reign of Cicogna proved a reign of peace, but this was 
less because of the gentle nature of the Doge than because 
the nations of Europe were all preoccupied with other affairs 
than those of Italy. France was torn with the conflicts 
which went before the triumph of Henry of Navarre, and 
Philip II was engaged upon his war on England. 

The building of some great churches — San Francesco di 
Paolo among them — and the restoration of others, went on 
apace in Venice what time the Spanish Armada sailed forth 
upon its direful quest. The Ducal Palace, the Library, and 
the Mint were decorated with pictures, statues and other 
works of art, and the Venetian Academy of Letters was estab- 
lished. As a glorious monument, too, of Cicogna's period, 


if not of his personal artistry, there remains the present 
Rialto Bridge. 

At the end of his time the people had the Doge they 
shouted for. There had never been a more popular choice 
than that of Marino Grimani in 1595. He was as lavish 
as Cicogna had been niggardly, and the doles of bread and 
wine bestowed upon the poor and the ferrymen as soon as his 
name was announced, together with the amount of largesse 
scattered by his attendants and thrown by the Dogaressa 
from a balcony of the palace when he was carried high around 
the Piazza at his coronation festival, were further excitements 
to the plaudits of the crowd. And it soon became evident 
that the Dogaressa Morosina (Morosini) was as great a favourite 
with all classes as the Doge. For her, the coronation proces- 
sion and fete which had been in abeyance since the time of 
Zilia (Dandolo) Priuli was revived. Morosina was the third 
Dogaressa to have the birettina pompously bestowed upon her, 
but not until Grimani had been two years on the throne 
was his consort's festival held. It is not quite clear why 
it was so long deferred, but the fact^ that by the Promis- 
sione of Grimani' s successor it was prohibited to any other 
Doge td have his Dogaressa crowned, indicates that a party 
among the patrizii was opposed to honours being heaped on a 
lady who had no official status. So far as Morosina was con- 
cerned, none could have had more honour done her. The 
picture of her, painted for her coronation, shows her to have 
been a portly dame. She wore a gown of gold brocade similar 
to that assumed by the Dogaressa Priuli forty years before, 
but cut low round the neck and otherwise of a design more 
fashionable at the hour. Her veil beneath the co%no was a very 
long one of white silk. It floated over the state mantle of 
gold tissue brocaded with a design of flowers in silver. A cross 
of diamonds glittered on her breast, and the note of gorgeous- 
ness, both in her attire and in the vestures of her 166 ladies- 
in-waiting, was more deeply emphasized than it had been at 
the earlier festival. It was the same with the whole procession 
and with all the ceremonies and diversions. There were 
greater numbers, more show, more magnificence, more cannon- 
ading, more music, more device. The companies of the Arts, 


both upon their flotilla on the waters, and in the galleries of 
the palace, set themselves to outdo all former efforts of 
expenditure and ingenuity. Multiplied were the mottoes 
and inscriptions everywhere. More laudatory and elaborate 
were the poems and orations recited ; more costly and rarer 
the viands consumed ; more numerous and brighter the lights 
that turned night into day. The court that surrounded the 
Dogaressa on the Budntoro gained magnificence too, not only 
from the added numbers in her suite, but from the presence 
of the wife of the Imperial Ambassador, who with her own 
daughter and the nieces of the Venetian " Princess," wore 
dresses of cloth of silver, with pearls and brilliants. A bizarre 
but modish touch was added by the attendance of two fools, 
a male and a female, garbed respectively in green silk and silver 
and green silk and gold. 

Possibly the progress of Morosina (Morosini) Grimani was 
not so imaginatively conceived as had already been some 
other Venetian Triumphs ; notably the one which had feted 
the coming of Henry iii in Alvise Mocenigo's time, and a 
marvellous religious pageant devised for the instruction of 
Japanese Ambassadors, in the reign of da Ponte. But for all 
that, it was a great and significant festival. The Dogaressa 
had her own oselle struck, with on one side her effigy crowned 
with the ducal biretta, and on the other, beneath a crown, 
the inscription, Munus Maurocence Grimana DucisscB Venet, 


When all the customary civic and religious ceremonies had 

been concluded, and the Exhibitions of the Arts visited, there 
arrived a Nuncio from Rome with Monsignor Claudio Crotta, 
the Pope's own private secretary, who brought the Golden 
Rose from Clement viii to the Princess Morosina Grimani. 
Laid first upon the High Altar in San Marco, it was solemnly 
taken thence by the secretary and handed to the Nuncio, who 
bestowed it on Morosina, who then and there, in the presence 
of the congregation, gave thanks to His Holiness for such a 
sanctified and noble gift, and promised to preserve it with 
diligence and devotion for the love of His Beatitudinity, pray- 
ing the Lord God long to preserve him in f eUcity. 

When the Rose had been duly given into ihe care of the 


ducal Chaplain, the Dogaressa invited all the clergy to ^.ccom- 
pany her to the palace and partake of a banquet in the Sala del 
Gran Consiglio. After the banquet there took place a concert, 
and after the concert a dramatic scene by Enea Piccolomini 
the Sienese. From this representation, the Princess and her 
ladies passed to the balcony of the palace looking over the 
lagoon to the Island of St. Giorgio, to witness a naval joust 
in which the crews of trading ships from England, Holland 
and Flanders took part with the good mariners of Venice. 

An order of the day, issued by the Senate, ran to the effect 
that the Dogaressa ought for all her life to kjeep the blessed 
Rose, but that after her death the jewel must be placed in 
the Treasury of St. Mark, as had been done with similar gifts 
to Venetian Doges from Popes Sixtus iv, Alexander vi and 
Gregory xiii. It was indeed a great distinction to be a 
recipient of the Golden Rose, but Morosina Grimani — the 
motherly soul — was deserving of it personally. It had been 
hoped that the husband, and the country of one so honoured 
for their sakes, would have also deserved the reward. But 
within four years from the time of receiving it, the Doge and 
Senate were in conflict with the beatitudinous donor, in a 
matter which was very dear to him. 

For some time before the accession of Grimani there had 
been disputes between the Republic and the papal court 
concerning exactions of dues by the Pontiff on vessels entering 
Ferrarese harbours, and about claims of the Venetian Signory to 
exercise control over the bishops and clergy of their dominion. 
There were also differences about the temporal authority 
of Clement in Ceneda, and the tax exacted by the Venetians 
from voyagers on the Po, for the purpose of paying for the 
dredging out of the silt from that river that choked the 
lagoon. The Pope had also seen fit to complain of the resid- 
ence in Venice of an English Ambassador who was allowed 
to have his own religious services in private. The Senators, 
while commending the vigilance of His Holiness, had made it 
clear that they saw no reason to alter their arrangements, 
and they suggested to the Pope that their responsibility in 
the matter was as great as his. A Bull issued by Clement in 
1 60 1 forbidding the taxing of the goods of the clergy for 


government purposes, had been justly resented by the Signory, 
and when a Nuncio was sent from Rome early in 1604 to 
complain of the levying from the ecclesiastics of Brescia, of 
contributions other than the " tenth " which the Pontiff con- 
sidered was all that was necessary to extort from the clergy 
in the way of dues, Doge Marino Grimani withstood the papal 
message in a harangue of explicit terms. 

It was needful, be said, for the RepubHc to expend largely 
for the maintenance of garrisons and the construction of 
fortifications. These being in the common interest, should be 
paid for by all. It was just and convenient that the clergy 
should share in the expense, as they shared in the security. 
It was true His Holiness had conceded the tenth, but this had 
been so diminished by many exemptions that it was of insensible 
benefit. No help had been asked towards the great cost of 
the defence of the islands of the Levant, or for the ultimate 
charges of defence against the boundary .states of the terra firma. 
But where the common security was provided, there should be 
common contribution by all citizens. 

The Nuncio repUed that it had been impressed upon the 
clergy that their exemptions must not be to the prejudice of 
the pubUc, and he declared that, although the clergy equally 
with the laity, were vassals of the Serene Republic, the 
Doge|^should consider it his office to preserve them in their 
privileges and not to permit the laity to aggravate them. He 
concluded by quoting a case in which the Grand-Duke of 
Tuscany, being advised that his taxing of a certain ecclesiastic 
was contrary to the will of the Pontiff, made restitution with 
the utmost piety. Similar piety was recommended to the Doge 
in the present negotiations. 

Grimani replied haughtily : — 

" We do not know what the Grand-Duke of Tuscany did, 
and we cannot govern by the methods of other princes. The 
Republic is governed by its own rules, and reason requires that 
if the clergy are protected and defended, they ought also to 
contribute to the expense that is gone to for their security." 

When Marino Grimani died in 1605, his funeral service was 
performed in the Church of 55. Giovanni d Paolo. So was that of 
Morosina, his wife, in 1613. As a crowned princess, she lay in 


state, the birettina on her head, in the Sala dei Piovega, and the 
reigning Doge — Memmo — assisted at the first part of her obsequies 
though, owing to his great age, he did not proceed with the rest 
of the high officials to the church where the services were 
concluded. In that church were already many of the ducal 
sarcophagi we may now see there, and over the west door 
was then, as now, the enormous monument to Doge Alvise 
Mocenigo and his consort. But the tomb of Marino and Moro- 
sina Grimani is in S. Giuseppe di Castello. It is a mausoleum 
resplendent with marbles, bronzes and statuary, and the bas- 
relief on the Dogaressa's urn shows us the Bishop offering her 
the Golden Rose in the basihca of San Marco. 



A.D. 1605 TO 1624 

LEONARDO DONATO was of very taU stature, but " the 
aggravations of time and the inroads of age " had begun 
to give him a stoop when at seventy years of age he 
came to the throne. " The aspect of his whole countenance 
was grave and inclined to severity, but lighted up by vivacious 
and scintillating eyes which manifested the readiness of his 
intelligence and the penetration of his mind." 

This description of the Doge who succeeded to Grimani 
was spoken by the contemporary historian Morosini, who 
fmrther dilated on Donato's " singular gentleness and humanity, 
which captivated all hearts," on his " disregard for ostentation 
and luxury," and on the benignity and courtesy of the Doge 
whom the invidious and the malignant accused of " preferring 
the mysteries and laws of government to religion, and of being 
generally more inclined to policies than was fitting." On the 
contrary, Morosini asserted, Leonardo Donato was gifted with 
piety and probity. He frequently " purged his conscience with 
confessions of his sins, refreshed himself with the angelical 
bread, and dihgently performed other Christian acts, binding 
together, in indissoluble bonds, affection for his country and 
zeal for his religion." 

This may have been a partial view, but it was that of a 
cultivated man who had special opportunities of judging his 
subject. It was, however, some exaggeration to say that, either 
by his " singular gentleness " or any other virtue, he had 
" captivated all hearts." On the day of his elevation, at the 


time of his death, and throughout the six years that went 
between, there were always those who criticized and decried 
him To begin with, he committed the great fault in the eyes 
of the people, of throwing very spare handfuls of money on to 
the Piazza at the time of his election . The prince in Venice who 
did not give largely, even if he could not afford it, was never 
popular. Donato's economy was particularly offensive, be- 
cause it followed the generosity of a man who was very rich. 

Then we have to compare the words of another writer of the 
time with those of Morosini. In the chronicle of Sivos it is 
written : " He was esteemed and believed by Christian princes, 
and in his own city, for a man of policy, not very devout, and 
less religious, and many rejoiced infinitely over his death." 
There were, however, others besides Morosini who wannly 
praised the Doge Donato. Paolo Sarpi, the Servite Father, who 
in view of the continued disputes with Rome was appointed 
during this reign theologian and canonist (with stipend) to the 
Signory, deemed Donate both virtuous and heroic ; a man of 
vivid intelligence, assiduous in all public works. 

But to be praised by a professor of philosophy who was also 
a man of science and erudition, was another title to condemna- 
tion in the opinion of many good people of the day that had 
heard the blasphemies of Galileo. When this same Galileo — a 
professor of the University of Padua — dedicated his inventions 
of the thermometer and the telescope to this same Doge 
Donato, the odium of the Orthodox was only deepened. One 
is not therefore surprised to read that at Donato's death his 
soul was claimed by an evil host, who made their presence 
in the Ducal Palace known by shrieks, howls and fearsome 

Leonardo Donato was certainly a man of liberal ideas and 
advanced views. His piety was not the piety of the Orthodox ; 
nor his doctrines the doctrines of the schools. In many things 
a diplomatist, his actions were not always politic. Often- 
times his clear common sense, as when he dispensed with the 
popular celebrations at the time of his election, and his en- 
thusiasm for the rights of the Republic — displayed in his 
controversies with Rome — made him unpopular and suspected. 
He had served the State for many years before he came to the 


throne in 1606. In 1595 he was the plenipotentiary who con- 
cluded a treaty of peace between the Sultan Murad and the 
Republic, under the particular circumstance of the concessions 
being obtained through the Sultana Basso, who had con- 
stituted herself a Protectress of Venice. This Sultana was a 
daughter of a Venetian governor of Corfu. As a girl, she had 
been taken captive by pirates and transferred to the harem 
of Murad. She Uved to exercise a very powerful influence 
over both her Sultan and her son who succeeded his father as 
Mohammed iii. Later than 1595, and at a time when the 
contests about the papal jurisdictions were already fierce, 
Donato was deputed to discuss matters with the Cardinal 
Borghese, afterwards Pope Paul v. It was then that, referring 
to the Venetian habit of haling ecclesiastics before the |civil 
courts, the Cardinal said — 

" If I had been the Pope on the first occasion, I would have 
excommunicated you Venetians." 

" And if I had been Doge," responded Donato, " I would 
have laughed at your excommunication." 

Here, then, was a constitutionalist to follow da Ponte 
and Grimani, as a resister of the pretensions of the Holy See ! 

When Doge Marino Grimani had been in extremis, there 
had arrived for him ixpm Rome two Briefs containing threats 
of excommunication/unless the ducal orders for the taxing 
of the clergy and thysentences of Venetian tribunals of justice 
on two priests guilty of heinous offences of cruelty and in- 
decency, were at once withdrawn and abrogated. These 
Briefs of stormy portent fell unopened from the lifeless hands 
of the Doge to whom they were inscribed, and they were not 
read until Donato had been for some days on the throne. 

So grave did Doge and Council consider their import, that 
Fra. Paolo Sarpi, with other doctors and legal authorities of 
Padua, was consulted before the reply was sent, by which 
the Doge of Venice took up the gauntlet the Pope of Rome had 
thrown down. Great had been the surprise and grief of the 
Doge and CouncU over the contents of the papal letters, so 
the Venetian reply affirmed, for by them laws and constitutions 
observed from immemorial times, had been reproved. No 
preceding pontiffs had controverted these laws, and to abrogate 


them would be to upset the very foundations of the govern- 
ment of the Republic. Following the admonition of His 
Holiness, men of distinguished piety had been called upon to 
examine anew the laws, but none had been found that over- 
stepped the sovereign rights of the Republic, or could lessen or 
offend against the privileges of the Pontificate. As to the law 
that monasteries and churches could not be founded without the 
licence of the Senate, that was a provision against new religious 
institutions depriving older ones of support. It was a pro- 
hibition also against building any edifices, especially in the city, 
in such a way as to become a menace to public security The 
alienation of the goods of the clergy was designed only to 
tax private property by proportionate divisions. The Pontifi- 
cate had already forbidden the clergy to bestow the possessions 
of the Church on the laity without licence. It was equally 
the right of the Senate, therefore, to insist on the goods of 
the laity being respected. To this it had to be added, that it 
was in the interests of the clergy not to diminish the pecuniary 
forces of the Signory which had so much expense to sustain 
both on land and sea for the guarding of Christianity. The 
Republic that had never been behindhand in favouring and 
promoting all pious institutions, would not change its ways 
in the future. For these reasons, it was hoped that the 
Venetians had not incurred the ecclesiastical censure, since 
secular princes exercised the divine right, which nothing human 
could derogate, of making laws for all temporal concerns. 
The admonition of His Holiness did not apply. The epistle 
concluded with the hope that His HoUness, better instructed 
by word of mouth of the appointed ambassador then being 
sent to him, would not persist in his threats. 

At first Pope Paul (Borghese) seemed indulgent towards 
his old antagonist in diplomacy, and sent to Venice the 
candle blessed by himself, which was a customary mark of papal 
favour to a new sovereign. But so much toleration was a bad 
example for other Governments. It was feared in Madrid that 
the French Court might also become defiant of orders from 
Rome, so a Nuncio arrived in Venice to demand again the 
delivery of the newly incarcerated priests into the custody of 
the Pope. 


This demand not being at once complied with, a Bull of 
Excommunication was launched. But the Senate forbade 
the Patriarch (Vendramin), whose elevation the Pope had 
refused to sanction because he had not jfirst been sent to Rome 
for examination, to allow either the Bull or any other writings 
from Rome to be published. 

With the Nimcio, who stiU remained in Venice, the Doge 
himself parleyed in good round terms. 

"Most Reverend Signor," he began, respectfully enough, 
" it belongs to the Pope and is in his hands to remedy every- 
thing, because it is a serious matter that, while we were 
dispatching an Ambassador-Extraordinary, and while negotia- 
tions were still proceeding, instead of continuing to treat. His 
Holiness within three weeks (pardon these words) brought 
himself to this precipice. In goodness name {di grazia) where 
are those who wish to sell the clergy's goods, where those who 
desiring to buUd churches, have not obtained our licence ? Are 
not three churches being erected at this hour in our city ? 
And if you do not wish a bishop to be appointed to a city 
who will not be acceptable to the lay governor of the place, 
why is it not equally just that non? should be allowed to 
introduce new confraternities and new religions into our State 
without our licence ? In this difficulty a resolution should 
not have been hastily taken. It would have been more fitting 
to have continued the negotiations and ascertained the reasons 
of the Republic." 

After these advices, Donato reminded the Nuncio of the 
disputes concerning the jurisdiction of the Pope in Ceneda 
which had been raging for twenty years and which were stiU 
afoot. " Monsignor must understand," he said, " that we 
could not possibly be more ardent and resolute, and not only 
we who are at the head of the government of the Republic, 
but all our nobility and the people in general. Your excom- 
munication we hold as null, and have no respect for it what- 
ever ; now see how much your resolution imports, and if, 
following our example, this one and that departs from you, 
those who are left ..." 

At this point the Nuncio gave evidence of a real alarm, 
but the Doge was merciless. 


" Does your Lordship know," he asked blandly, " what 
the Pontiff should have done instead of hurling the excom- 
munication ? He should have written to us, to the Republic, 
an affectionate letter to the effect that His Holiness having 
learned that we had made decrees which in his judgment 
lacked the usual piety of the Republic, he besought us that, 
since to us was reserved the authority to dispense with these 
decrees according to our pleasure, we should yield to his 
demand that he himself should perform the investiture [of 
the Patriarch] ; and in regard to those who desired to build 
churches and pious institutions, that we should promptly 
concede a licence and give them every favour and help. For," 
declared the Doge in conclusion, " if His Holiness had pro- 
ceeded in that manner, we should have brought the negotia- 
tions to an end with an equally courteous reply." 

As might have been expected, the result of this " straight 
talk " was the sending to all the patriarchs, archbishops, 
bishops, vicars, abbots, priors, etc., of the Dominion of Venice, 
a letter making known that a papal brief against the Doge 
and the Republic had been posted in Rome. But even for 
this thunder the Prince in Venice had his counterblast. He 
too issued a brief in which he protested before God and the 
whole world, that the papal manifesto was against all principles 
of reason, of Divine Scripture, and of the doctrine of the Holy 
Fathers and the sacred canons. " Moreover, it was to the 
prejudice of all secular authority given by God, and of all 
liberty of the State, as well as disturbing to that quiet posses- 
sion in which, by the divine grace, under his own government, 
his faithful subjects held their goods and their lives." Then, 
declaring the papal brief to be of no value, the Doge recom- 
mended all ecclesiastics to continue as theretofore in the 
cure of souls and the cult of divine things ; it being " our 
firm determination to continue in the holy Catholic and 
Apostolic faith and in the observances of the holy Roman 
Church," praying the Lord God to inspire His Holiness with 
the knowledge of the uselessness of his brief, of the ill worked 
by it on the Republic, and of the justice of the Venetian cause." 

It now became the duty of the Servite Father to consider 
point by point the objections and the scruples, and to advise 


theSignory " to appeal" — one presumes to a General Council. 
But it was not the desire of the Government to go to this 
extreme. It wished to give proof of its moderation. Only 
when the Jesuits refused to obey the ducal order to continue 
their religious offices, they were requested to leave the city, 
and an inventory of their possessions was taken. A little 
later there was pronounced against them a solem decree of 
expulsion as disobbedienti who had concealed and carried 
away the most precious things of religion and railed against 
the Republic from pulpits outside the Dogado. Other brother- 
hoods were subsequently sent the way of the Jesuits, and 
there came upon Venice a veritable storm of writings — 
apologies, histories, tracts, letters, poems — ^for and against 
the Republic. There was a general stirring of men's minds. 
No wonder that citizens of other Italian States accused the 
Venetians of this time of " Protestantizing themselves." 

As the stand of the Doge against the presumptions of 
Rome grew bolder, proposals of help poured in from foreign 
powers. The States-General of Holland offered aid and the 
English Ambassador proposed the formation of a league 
between Venice, France, England and some German princes. 
It may be said that all Europe, except Spain, was on the 
side of Venice. Meanwhile the Republic stood to arms on 
land and sea. A Spanish Armada was looked for in the Gulf. 
A holy war was indeed declared against the Republic, yet 
the Doge defended himself and Venice stoutly, and denied 
the charge of heresy. 

" We, by the grace of God," he told the Ambassador of 
France, " have come to seventy years of age, and have always 
lived in that religion in which we received baptism." He 
added that the accusations of the malicious did not offend 
him personally, but he resented them as directed against the 
Republic, knowing they were uttered only to wound the 
Government. He hoped to God that their spiteful thoughts 
would have no effect. To the Spanish Ambassador, Donato 
complained that the Pope had called the Venetians Calvinists. 
" What does Calvinist mean ? " he asked. " We are as good 
Christians as the Pope, and Christians we'll die, and good 
Christians too, no matter what any one says." 


By the intervention of the French Ambassador, matters 
were eventually adjusted between Venice, Spain and Rome, 
on the basis of the Pope first withdrawing the Interdict and re- 
ceiving the Venetian Ambassadors. After this, the Signory, with 
saved dignity, delivered up the two sentenced priests, sending 
to Rome the message that the Doge " did this for the gratifica- 
tion of His Most Christian Majesty" (of France), and without 
prejudice to his own authority in ecclesiastical jurisdiction. 

" I rejoice, most Serene Prince," said a Cardinal to Donato 
a little later, " that the day has come in which all the censures 
are removed, and I am glad for the benefit conferred on the 
whole of Christianity." 

The Doge replied that it was truly a day of benefit to 
Christianity, because, the censures being removed, there were 
also lifted many troubles that oppressed the quiet of the 
State. It remained for the Papacy to rescue aU princes from 
disturbances, then things would go forward. 

Two shocks of disappointment are said to have hastened the 
end of Leonardo Donato. He was, however, seventy-six years 
old when they befell him. The first was on the occasion of a 
formal visit paid by him to the Church of 5. Maria Formosa on 
a Feast Day, when he was mobbed by holiday-makers, who 
cried out Viva il doge Grimani padre dei poveri ! A venal 
populace still nursed the grievance of Donato' s lack of 
Grimani's open-handedness. Much incensed by this demon- 
stration, Donato stayed away from a similar function at 
which he was due shortly afterwards at the Redentore. 
Cheated of their quarry the boisterous crowd murmured noisily 
that he would " see the day in which he would want to go to 
church and would not be able to." 

A shock that told upon him even more palpably, was that 
administered by the extravagance of his brother Nicolo, who 
was building a grand house by the Ponte de Crossechieri, opposite 
the Isle of Murano. The Doge told him that with an equal 
expenditure he might have raised a palace on the finest site in 
Venice, and he animadverted contemptuously on the mansion 
that was being built. This outburst proved too great a strain 
on his failing forces, and he died shortly afterwards and was 
buried in San Giorgio Maggiore. 


The two next Doges were Marcantonio Memmo and 
Giovanni Bembo, both members of case vecckie. It was 330 
years since an " old " noble had ascended the throne that was 
at this time despoiled by law of its canopy of State. All the 
Doges during those years had come of houses ennobled at 
the time of or since the war of Chioggia. But Doge Donato 
had carried the new principles to the furthest point possible for 
a ruler claiming to be of the religion of Rome. So it was 
time for those who may be called " Whigs " to go out, and for 
" Tories " to come in. 

Both Memmo and Bembo were good men and conscientious, 
Bembo, a sailor of the old school, stuck to his post well, 
although the duties and strains of it irked him sorely. Often- 
times, when he trod his council chambers weighed down with 
officied cares, he longed, old man that he was, to be on the 
poop of some stout vessel tossing on the deep ! Stormy 
winds and lashing billows would have made sounds pleasanter 
to him than the din of stubborn argument and the murmurs 
of factious debate. 

Members of the " new " famiUes were again enthroned ; 
among them the Nicolo Donato, whose earlier recklessness in 
building was compensated for by a later niggardliness that 
went beyond that of his brother Leonardo. Nicolo had a 
nephew who was an even tighter screw than his uncle, and 
during his time of residence in the palace it was a common 
thing for the sweetmeats and other refreshments at a state- 
party to give out before all were served. 

Antonio Priuli (1618) seems to have been a very monu- 
ment of dignity and suavity, though he lacked penetration 
and originality. He had served his country well in a number 
of lesser offices before his election to the supreme one, and 
had a reputation for honesty at a time when too many Venetian 
officials were dishonest. Originally a man of wealth, he so 
impoverished himself in the public service that he had to 
borrow money to the sum of 8000 ducats to meet the expenses 
of his coronation, which included throwing among the people 
2000 ducats in small change and 1000 in gold. The festivities 
of his accession were marked by lavish illuminations and a 
generous distribution of gifts. His presents of wine, bread. 


game and other meats, were on such a scale as to be considered 
" the sign of gratitude in a true prince towards a faithful 
people." The marriage of his son to Franceschina Dolfin, 
who had a dot of 200,000 ducats, besides an inheritance from 
her mother of more than 300,000, seems to have been a great 
help in repairing the ravages on his fortune. But the quality 
that kept him firmly enthroned in the general estimation, was 
his gift of speech-making. He always found the right words 
in which to explain or to disguise his own views and feelings, 
and those of the Senate and Cabinet. 

There was indeed great necessity in his time for a Doge who 
could hold at arm's length as well as command respect in 
foreign envoys and Venetian appellants to the justice of their 
own laws. Not among foreigners alone had it become a 
fashion to designate the " potent, grave and reverend Signors," 
" pantaloons." On many occasions these ancients did indeed 
appear to be fussy, pompous old gentlemen, who took great 
credit to themselves either for finding out nothing at all or 
for discovering plots and counterplots that did not exist. 
Yet the threads of some conspiracies' of serious design and wide 
ramifications came into the hands of Priuli and his govern- 
ment. It was ascertained that Ossuna, the Spanish Viceroy 
of Naples, an arch-eiiemy of the Venetian power, had agents 
by the score in Venice, who worked for the sending of squadrons 
from Naples and Sicily to scour the Gulf, bombard the 
Piazzetta and land troops on the Lido and the Molo. There were 
also groups of treacherous malcontents among the Venetian 
aristocrats themselves, who — some for the Spanish interest and 
some from jealousy of more successful families, or from various 
personal ends and ambitions — conspired against the integrity 
of their own country. 

The system of voting for the Doge, for membership of 
the Senate and of the Council of the Ten, for Savii (Sages 
or Experts) of various departments, and for the Three 
Inquisitors of State, had become extremely complicated. 
All sorts of additions to and refinements of the processes of 
ballot had been introduced from time to time, with the object 
of making favouritism and connivance impossible. But in the 
time of Antonio Priuli, so demoralized had a large body among 


the maggiorii become, that there were many who possessed 
themselves of, and dropped into the vases of collection, more 
voting balls than they were entitled to, and who, by other 
elaborate arrangements and previous understandings with one 
another, contrived to defeat more popular and better qualified 
candidates for posts that were filled by ballot. 

Among those who had succeeded in entering the Senate 
in this unworthy manner was one Giambattista Bragadino. 
His custom of keeping the Spanish Ambassador — Bedmar — 
informed of all that passed in Venetian councils, was dis- 
covered by a brother of the Frari, who noticed the constant 
appearance of two men in a chapel of the great church, one 
always following the departure of the other. Both knelt 
devoutly during their stay on a particular stool. Quiet 
observation revealed the secret of this successive devotion. 
The first man was Bragadino, the second Bedmar's secretary ; 
and the Venetian always pushed into a slit in the stool, a 
paper for the Spaniard containing political information. 
The taking of the polizze thus discovered to the Doge, led to 
a summoning of the Senate. Bragadino, who came with the 
rest, was asked to write some notes, and the comparison of his 
writing with that of the polizze in the hands of the Doge made 
doubt of his guilt impossible. 

" I am worthy of death ! " was his only exclamation, as he 
was led from the senate chamber to the ducal prison. Con- 
fessing aU, he was hanged between the two columns. 

The Spaniard who had served his own King well, had no 
shame for tampering with the loyalty of a subject of the Doge. 
Said Priuli to him, when he came to take formal leave — 

" The Republic maintains always the same good disposition 
towards your master, but it were truly desirable that jealousies 
should be put aside, and that all ministers should promote 

The Ambassador's reply was pert and proud— 

" I can tell your Signory that I am well able to continue my 
offices, wherein I have always sought to encourage these good 
dispositions. As to the ministers, I do not see how they could 
possibly have existed in greater quietude than has been the 


So Spain had the last word of this argument. But the 
dignity of Doge Priuli was unruffled, even though Bedmar 
treated him as a " pantaloon." 

In interviews about the same time with both the French and 
the English Ambassadors, we catch clearer notes of the elo- 
quence of this Doge. His words to the Englishman — Wotton 
— have the greater interest for us. Among them may be 
quoted first those spoken to the secretary of the Ambassador, 
when sent by his master to complain to the Cabinet of the in- 
sufficient state of the reception accorded him upon returning to 
his charge in Venice, after an absence of some weeks. Wotton 
had, as was customary, proceeded on a certain day — in 
this case 8th March 1621 — to the Isle of San Giorgio, and 
awaited there the coming of a body of the Senators to fetch 
him to Venice. Instead of a possible sixty, not more than 
eighteen or nineteen " fathers " of the Republic waited on 
him. It was a time when all Ambassadors of the King of 
England were a little touchy concerning their due meed of 
honour from foreign Sovereigns. In his sentimental ambition 
to be a peacemaker, James i was neglecting to make himself 
feared in Europe, as he had need to be. Moreover, his desire to 
gain Doge Priuli as a friend and banker for his son-in-law the 
Palatine, which desire it had been Wotton's chief mission to 
fmrther, gave the Venetians at this time no cause to be anxious 
about England's friendship. If it had not been for the Spanish 
marriage, which the would-be universal peacemaker was seeking 
to arrange for his son Charles Prince of Wales, the Doge of 
Venice might not have deigned even to reply to the English 
secretary's request that two lords of the Signory should 
forthwith call upon Ambassador Wotton, and explain in the 
name of the others that their neglect had been due solely to 
urgency of private affairs. This course, the secretary was in- 
structed to say, would satisfy both the Ambassador and the 
dignity of the King, his master. So the Doge replied to the 
emissary of Wotton in terms explanatory and void of offence, 
while he guarded against any admission of default on the part 
of Venice. 

Beginning with the usual compliments of courts, Priuli 
declared that of all crowned heads the Republic esteemed and 


loved none so much as the King of England. Englishmen were 
welcomed to Venice as their own children. A larger number of 
Senators than usual had been chosen for Wotton's reception, but 
owing to various accidents the attendance of many had been 
prevented. Public sentiment, however, was unchanged. All 
welcomed the Ambassador again most gladly, and if necessary 
could prove how gladly. 

A few days later, Wotton came himself before the Doge in 
council, to give an account of his negotiations in Germany re- 
garding the restoration of the Palatinate to the Palatine and 
ex-King of Bohemia. He announced himself as assured of 
friendly feeling, and willing to waive the matter of his reception. 

The Doge replied : " We are gratified that your Excellency 
accepts the assurances of the Republic. In a Republic and in a 
senate of aristocrats, things cannot be estimated for the same 
as they are elsewhere. The receptions of the papal Nuncios 
and of the Emperor's Ambassadors have frequently been 
similar. We pray that God may grant all prosperity to His 
Majesty and to His Highness, the Prince." 

Then there was another time when the English Ambassador 
brought a letter to His Serenity which bore the superscription — 
" FRpDERicK, King of Bohemia, Count Palatine of the 
Rhine, etc., to Antonio Priuli, Doge of Venice." It described 
how Frederick had lost the Palatinate, as well as the Kingdom of 
Bohemia, through the manoeuvres of Austria and Bavaria, and 
explained that he needed money to pay for troops, additional 
to those his father-in-law. King James, would provide. To 
obtain this money he was applying to his friends in Europe, 
" coming in the first place to your Serenity . . . asking you to 
help us in our dire necessity, by which means you will be pro- 
.tecting yourselves against the peril of an Austrian and Spanish 

The reply of Priuli to this appeal and to the Ambassadorial 
comment on it, was phlegmatic in the assurance of unshaken 
sovereignty- He had listened attentively to the particulars 
about the Palatine, and wished him all prosperity. A formal 
reply would be sent to his requests. The Doge then added 
more conversationally, " We must say that all these motions 
and armaments have compelled the Republic herself to arm 


strongly and incur very heavy expenses. We are doing our 
utmost, and if the King of England makes resolutions befitting 
his greatness, great results will follow." 

The formal reply was long in coming, however, and again 
and again Wotton appeared before the Doge, with requests from 
his King for aid for the Palatine. Priuli replied always in the 
same strain. But the most suave of all his ducal utterances 
were those of 14th April 1622, when he received an English- 
woman who, as far as is known, is the only lady of any nation- 
ality who ever addressed a Doge of Venice in Council. 

The appearance of the Countess (Alethea) of Arundel and 
Surrey before Antonio Priuh, came about in this way. There 
had been in London from 1609 to 161 5 an Ambassador of 
the Signory named Antonio Foscarini, who had already 
served his country with distinction in France, at Chioggia 
and in the capital. He had also won the good favour of 
the Inquisitors of State, by informing them of revelations of 
political plans to a Papal Nuncio, and assisting them in dis- 
covering the channel through which these revelations had 

At the Court of James i, Foscarini received an honourable 
welcome, and became a persona grata. He was stiff-mannered, 
yet ingratiating; capable of serious work and discussion, 
and earnest enough when important concerns had to be dealt 
with, but flippant too, in an indolent way, and of easy morals. 
His talk at his own board, and when he deemed himself among 
intimates, was satirical to a point that was unbecoming in 
an Ambassador of a renowned government to a great King. 
But the Queen (Anne of Demnark) was fond of entertainment, 
and liked the company of courtiers of bizarre qualities. So 
she too made much of Foscarini, and he might have remained 
in favour with both Majesties had there not been sent to him 
from Venice a secretary who was more entertaining than 
himself. This secretary — Muscomo — played on one or more 
of the curious instruments of music with which Venice was, 
at the time, supplying the world. He sang also. The Queen 
and her ladies were delighted with this second Rizzio, and 
Mrs Hay, the heiress-wife of King James's Scottish favourite, 
took the young Italian under her special protection. 


Now Mtiscomo was one of those who served under the 
Venetian Government of his day, for the purpose either of 
earning Spanish, gold by sale of his country's secrets, or of 
taking pay from the Inquisitors of Venice for accusations of 
treachery and Spanish leanings against his betters in the public 
service. It was a natural sequence that Muscorno should both 
denounce Foscarini as a politician and grow jealous of him 
as a man. The Ambassador, who had at first been pleased 
with bis secretary, soon found him unsatisfactory, and he put 
the touch to Muscomo's smouldering spites by refusing some 
letters of recommendation he asked for. Foscarini's further 
refusal to pursue a dismissed servant whom the secretary 
had belaboured for threatening to publish the secrets of his 
dissipated Hfe, set Muscorno's hate blazing higher. The 
servant, a half-witted Scot, retained in the household of the 
Ambassador as a " Fool," had retaliated by threats to kill the 
secretary. Believing the threats to be only the braggadocio 
of a childish mind, Foscarini banteringly encouraged them, 
with the result that the poor young zauy eventually purchased 
two daggers. This was too much for Muscorno. He fled pre- 
cipitately from his master's house, and presented a memorial 
to the King, accusing the Ambassador of intention to take his 
life. Mrs. Hay backed up the accusation. 

The result of all this was that when Foscarini presented, 
on his side, a demand that Muscorno should be proceeded 
against as a man steeped in vice, and guilty of inteUigence 
with the Spaniards and of machinations against his (the 
Ambassador's) hfe, the King would not allow a case to be 
brought, and Foscarini was greatly afflicted, fearing for his 
own reputation. Excited by his triumph and seized by a 
greed of vendetta, Muscorno lost no opportunity of defaming 
Foscarini, and he contributed to a libel, entitled Detti e fatti 
dell ambasciator Foscarini. He also asked for and obtained the 
licence of the Council of Ten to return to Venice on important 
political business. In Venice, Muscorno brought the blackest 
accusations against his late Chief, saying that he was a man 
of lascivious life, a scoffer at religion, a defamer of the 
English Queen, and further that he had supplied other Govern- 
ments with copies of his letters addressed to his own. 


The CouncH, of the Ten took the gravest view of Muscomo's 
statements, and empowered the Inquisitors to inquire into the 
matter and discover the truth. 

Foscarini was recalled and went to take formal leave of 
the Queen in the palace at Greenwich. Seated on a throne 
beneath a canopy of state, Queen Anne expressed her regret 
for his departure, and, at the close of the audience, told him 
she would be pleased to see him again before he left the 
country. He also waited on Henry, Prince of Wales, with whom 
he had an interview as cordial as one of ceremony can be. Yet 
some inf onnations gathered in France as well as in England, 
looked black for Foscarini. The worst of all was that copies 
of the Ambassador's letters were certainly in the hands of 
many persons of rank, of different nationalities. In the end, 
however, all was explained. A French informer had obtained 
these letters from Foscafini's valet, during absences of the 
Ambassador from the capital. The Frenchman had sat up all 
night copying them, and had thus provided himself with pro- 
fitable stuff for sale. The valet, who had been detained in 
prison with his master at Venice for the year of the inquiry, 
was sentenced to lose his right hand and to be imprisoned for 
twenty years in a dungeon. But Foscarini, though cleared 
of all suspicions of political treachery, was kept in durance 
for two years longer, while the charges concerning his scan- 
daloiK and irreligious life in England were inquired into. In 
the end these too were held to be without foundation, and 
Foscarini came forth a free man. Muscomo received the 
sentence (light enough for those times) of two years confine- 
ment in the fortress of Palma. Liberated, Foscarini gave 
to the Doge and Senate a detailed account of his embassies 
in France and England, and of the " persecutions " and 
" diabolical intrigues " that in London and Venice had 
" calumniated his innocence." His relation was simple but 
impassioned, and in it he prayed God to make His Serenity 
and the most excellent Council of Ten true executors of the 
Divine Will. 

Whether that prayer was answered as Foscarini would 
have had it, or no, the utterer of it had yet to receive condem- 
nation at the hands of the Doge and the Ten. Traps for his 


feet were soon set, although until Muscorno was again at 
large no actual proceedings were taken. By the time the 
vindictive one crept once more on Foscarini's trail, there had 
come to Venice, to Uve partly in the Palazzo Mocenigo and 
partly at Padua, the Coimtess of Arundel and Surrey. The 
Catholic inclinations ever strong in the Howard family, had 
led both the Earl-Marshal and his lady to desire not only a 
residence for themselves but also a university for their sons 
in a land where they would be freer to follow those inclinations. 
The Earl of Anmdel and Surrey seems to have travelled about 
more than his Cottotess. She remained always near the sons, 
about whose education both parents were anxious. While in 
Venice, Lady Arundel, as was natural, received in her palace 
many persons of distinction who formed a coterie of intelligence 
and politeness about her. Antonio Foscarini, however, was 
not of her circle. He had neglected to pay his formal respects 
to her in Italy, as he had previously neglected to pay her 
ceremonious visits in England. But among her visitors was 
one Girolamo Vano, a common informer, although unknown by 
the Countess to be of that occupation. Matters were quickly 
planned and carried out, to the end that as Foscarini came from 
a meeting of the Senate, one evening in AprU 1622, a deft- 
handed sbirro threw a cloak over his head. He was seized 
from behind, arrested and taken to prison, by order of the 
Council of the Ten. The secret charge against him was that 
he had constantly met the representatives of foreign Govern- 
ments, by day and by night, in their houses and elsewhere, 
both within and without the city, and that, by word of mouth 
and written communications, he had published the most 
intimate secrets of the Signory, ^nd received money for them. 
It was averred too, before a court consisting of the Doge, 
his Pfivy-CounciUors, members of the Ten, the Avogadori 
and three State Inquisitors, that Foscarini had gone at late 
hours of the night, in extravagant garments of disguise, to 
the palace of " the Arundel," a lady of spirit and of manieroso 
trattamento, to "practise" with a certain secretary, Cesareo, 
who retailed all his information to the Spanish Ambassador. 

The Court of Inquisition was not formed to clear Foscarini ; 
rather the aim of nearly every member of it seems to have 


been to make an example of him. Treachery existed in the 
State and trafl&c in secrets and documents was known to be 
brisk and to be carried on by many who should have been the 
least suspected of all. It was far from being impossible that 
Foscarini had been corrupted. Suggestions of guilt were proofs 
to men whom their offices, more even than their tempera- 
ments, trained to be suspicious and censorious. By ten votes, 
Foscarini was condemned to be strangled that night in prison, 
and to be hanged by one foot between the two columns when 
morning came, remaining thus exposed until evening. Five 
of his peers had voted for the lesser sentence of a life-incarcer- 
ation, and two had been in favour of a secret death. The 
severest penalty was exacted, and the " example " so much 
desired of the Inquisitors made. 

No sooner was the sentence executed than there flew the 
rumour that the Countess of Arundel was to be asked to depart 
from Venice within three days. Ambassador Wotton, who 
was not running very straight himself, caught at the oppor- 
tunity of removing the clear-sighted Alethea from any post 
of observation of his devious doings, and sent a messenger 
to her at Padua to warn her of the talk about her in Venice, and 
to advise her not to return to her palace there, at least until 
he had time to communicate with her again. The Countess, 
who had been residing for a time at a villa near Dolo, was 
actually in her coach at Lizzafusina on her way back to Venice, 
when Wotton's secretary found her. Her own advice was of 
quite a different kind from the Ambassador's, and she told 
the secretary that she would return at once to the Palazzo 
Mocenigo. Arrived in Venice, she disembarked at Wotton's 
door and entered into immediate conversation with him. He 
tried, at first, to talk of generalities, ignoring the anxiety in 
both their minds. But the Countess went straight to the 
point with the demand for confirmation of what the Am- 
bassador's secretary had told her. Wotton averred that it 
was quite true, and that the decision to expel her had been 
taken because it was known that her house had been fre- 
quented by the Papal Nuncio, the Secretary of the Emperor 
and the Cavaliere Foscarini. The Countess was amazed by 
this false report, and swore to Wotton as the Ambassador of 


her Sovereign, that she had never received any one of the three 
persons named in her house. No diplomat had been there 
except himself and the Resident of Florence. The matter 
concerned the English name as well as her own, so she would 
go the Cabinet to-morrow morning to clear it up. She would 
be glad of the assistance of the Ambassador, but if he did not 
wish to accompany her she should go alone. This decision did 
not commend itself at all to Wotton, and he tried hard to turn 
the Countess from her purpose, saying, among other things, 
that time should be taken to discover the authors of the rumours, 
and that it was too late that day to make an application for an 
audience. The latter argument was the only one the lady 
deigned to heed. She went on to her house on the Grand 
Canal, but early the next morning was again at the Am- 
bassador's and again insisting that steps must at once be taken 
to extinguish a rumour so scandalous and prejudicial to her 
own honour and that of her family and nation. Without any 
delay she would have public acknowledgment of her inno- 
cence, the Ambassador must therefore send at once to demand 
audience of the Doge. Quite against his will, Wotton was 
constrained by the excited but dignified lady to accompany 
her to the Council Chamber, where, seated on the right hand 
of the Doge, the ordinary place of the Ambassador, to which 
Wotton himself conducted her, her Ladyship announced her 
errand in English. While the Countess was speaking, the Am- 
bassador stood on the left of the throne, but it was seated, 
though still to the left, and presumably with his hat on as the 
representative of a Sovereign, that Wotton translated with 
modifications all that the lady had said. 

Omitting any reference to his own message, he stated that 
her Ladyship, upon returning the day before to her house in 
Venice, had found there a group of friends discussing the fate of 
the unhappy gentleman who had ended his days at the hands 
of the executioner. They had told her that common report 
traced a share in the affair to her, and that it was being debated 
whether or not some intimation should be made to her. They 
thought she would be well advised to secure her reputation. 
Feeling, therefore, what was due to her birth and to her position 
as wife of the Earl-Marshal of England, and conscious of her 


own integrity, her Ladyship had prevailed upon him to intro- 
duce her to His Serenity, to state the facts to the Cabinet 
and to receive the Doge's commands. Far from wishing to 
escape, she desired to prove her sincerity and vindicate her 
honour by submitting herself to the Cabinet. 

The Doge replied that the matter was entirely new to him. 
Then turning from the Ambassador to the lady, His Serenity 
continued : " As the Countess understands our tongue, we 
can ourselves assure her that there has not been a syllable or 
shadow of a question upon the matter which the Ambassador 
has propounded. We rejoiced to see your Ladyship this 
morning and thought that you had come to ask some favour. 
We regret greatly the reason which has brought you here, 
but assure you that there has not been the slightest idea of any 
such thing. It was possibly started by some miscreants who 
wished to cover themselves. Foscarini has expiated his pre- 
vious malpractices ; that is the end of him. Your Ladyship 
enjoys the esteem of the Republic, which is appreciative of the 
compUment paid to Venice by your residence here." 

Other compliments followed. The Doge rejoiced to com- 
municate affairs to His Majesty King James and to the present 
Ambassador, whose friendly disposition was so well known. 
The Ambassador thanked the Doge ; the lady would depart 
much relieved. The Republic had no greater friend than 
herself and her husband. She placed herself entirely in the 
Doge's hands. His Serenity was gratified and did not fail to 
add that if the Ambassador could give him a clue to the origina- 
tors of the lies, they should be punished severely. But Wotton 
had no information upon which more " examples " of Venetian 
justice could be hanged in the public sight, so the Ambassador 
and the Countess withdrew, as they had entered — ceremonially 
— her left hand resting on his right. 

The feelings of the two in apparent unity, were very different. 
The Countess was undoubtedly, as she asserted, very pleased 
with the result of the audience. Wotton, on the other hand, 
was thoroughly displeased that the Doge had convinced the 
lady of the friendship of the Republic, and determined her 
to stay in Venice. Neither of them knew of a dispatch, already 
on the way, by which Lady Arundel — either by her husband 


or by her King — was recalled to England. There were many at 
home who disapproved of her long stay in a Catholic country, 
and who believed her conversion to Roman Catholicism had 
taken place as and when was stated in a pamphlet recently pub- 
lished in France. There were some, too, who said that the 
Doge was circumspect and knew how to dissemble ! 

Not alone in England was the idea current that Antonio 
Priuli had spoken more prudently than frankly to the Coimtess. 
Wotton himself believed, or affected to beUeve, that the Doge 
bad schooled himself to speak graciously, and that, far from 
being taken by surprise, he had delivered a speech prepared 
by discussions in the Cabinet. In truth, the Doge was not 
so ingenuous as he seemed. In Venice, as in London, Lady 
Arundel and her husband were suspected of Spanish leanings, 
but her nationaUty and her rank forbade the voicing of any 
suspicions unless they could be most circumstantially, if not 
directly, proved. 

The satisfaction of the Countess was not of long duration. 
Wotton soon damped it by telling her his views about the 
Doge's sincerity, and she was angry again because his words 
and manner confirmed her earlier thought that it was the 
Ambassador himself who had originated the report about 
her. She could not feel certain that he would not travesty 
the words of the Doge in writing to his own court, and she 
was determined to wring from him an acknowledgment of 
his true share in the matter, as well as to obtain from the 
Doge a written confirmation of all that had been said at 
the audience. She had already sent a full account of every- 
thing to her husband in England, and was planning to entrust 
a " special gentleman " to take her version of the affair to 
King James, when the Italian steward of her household — 
one Vercellini, a gentleman about whom it would be inter- 
esting to know more, though a good deal is revealed — told 
a Venetian agent of the Council of Ten how matters stood 
with his mistress, and how desirous she was of a written 
statement of the Doge's exoneration. It is almost certain 
that Vercellini's remarks were of design. He probably knew 
the real occupation of the acquaintance he confided in. In 
any case, the Council acted on the information, for only two 


days after the receipt of it, a copy of a special decree of the 
Senate concerning the Countess of Arundel was forwarded 
to the Venetian Ambassador in England and a resolution 
carried : " That the Countess of Arundel and the English 
Ambassador be summoned to the Cabinet and the following 
read to them." 

" The following " was a decree of the Senate, beginning : 
" The purity and candour of your Ladyship's manner of life 
cannot be disparaged in the slightest degree by slanderous 
reports," and it went on to say that although the lady might 
be reasonably convinced by the Doge's words that the Venetian 
Government recognized her noble qualities, it was desired 
further to assure her by a decree of the Senate, that the news 
of so false an imposture was the greatest surprise. The 
Senate further expressed the wish that measures " which on 
every account should be severe," might be taken against such 
persons as had made the accusations out of their own ill will, 
and ended with the hope that her ladyship would long enjoy 
her sojourn in the city, where she would always be welcome. 

While this decree had been preparing in the Senate, the 
Countess had been busy writing a letter of her own to the 
Doge and drawing up a long statement of facts which she 
put before Wotton for signature. It transpired afterwards 
that many of these facts had to be modified and some ex- 
pressions altered to satisfy the scruples of the Ambassador 
who, even by what was left, was shown to have cut a sorry 
figure in his endeavour to hustle the lady out of the country 
and thus incriminate rather than protect her. There is little 
doubt that Wotton would have suppressed the document if 
he cotild, and that he had plans of his own concerning its 
presentation. But the communication of Vercellini had 
provided against manoeuvrings of the Ambassador. 

Wotton seems to have felt no anxiety when the Senate's 
secretary (Lionello) came to him on the evening of 28th 
April (1623) to invite him to appear before the Collegia on the 
following morning, but when he heard that the Countess was 
also summoned, Lionello noted that he " changed coloiu:." 
Lady Arundel herself " welcomed the favour of an audience." 
Can one doubt that the intention of the Cabinet was to con- 


found the designs of the English Ambassador, while through 
favour to an exalted English subject, it kept the goodwill 
of the English King ? Wotton, however, had to make the 
best of a bad business for himself, and the next day found 
him and the Countess again in the Collegio and " seated as 
before." Lady Arundel had her own letter and the signed 
statement in her hands, and the Ambassador signalled to her 
nervously to present them at once to the Doge. His Serenity 
intercepted the sign and remarked reprovingly, " We must 
first read to your Excellencies the deliberation of the Senate, 
why we sent for you, and then we wiU wiUingly hear what 
you have to say " 

The decree of the Senate was then read. The Countess and 
the Ambassador listened to it with equal attention, although 
it was remarked that very different effects were produced 
upon one and the other. When the reading was finished, 
Lady Arundel first spoke in English. Wotton followed with 
an interpretation. She thanked the Doge warmly for the 
great honour done to her, and took consolation from the 
thorough testimony to her innocence. She begged their 
Excellencies " to pass an office " with the King, her master, 
as the nmiour might have spread and Wotton had been 
himself deceived. The Countess would present a compendium 
of the whole affair. 

Lady Arundel then rose and presented the two papers 
she held to the Doge, whereupon the Ambassador urged that 
it would suffice to read the letter, as the other was a very 
long docmnent. The lady, however, signified by gestures 
that she wished both to be read, and this was done. 

The letter, bearing the signature Alethea Arundel and 
Surrey, ran as follows : — 

"Most Serene Prince, — My devotion towards the 
Republic could not be better expressed than by my coming 
with my two sons to Hve here for so long a time, with my 
King's consent. I shall always preserve an indelible memory 
of the favours accorded to me and to my sons, especially 
the last on the 22nd of April, concerning my honour and 
reputation. But as the false rumour against me seems to 
gather strength, I have thought it necessary to procure a 


relation from the English Ambassador, which I hand to your 
Serenity, and which I desire my King to see and the rest of 
the world, so that the benignity of your Serenity and my 
innocence may both appear at the same time. But first I 
thought it my duty to show it to you, begging you to acquaint 
His Majesty with my innocence, and to provide for the 
extinction of the false report which is still current against me." 

The compendium contained references to the reports of 
Foscarini's visits in disguise to the house of Lady Arundel, 
and of the supposed intention of the Senate to banish her 
from Venice. It referred also, though rather ambiguously, 
to certain affronts and dangers that might have fallen on 
the servant Vercellini, " simply," as the Countess believed, 
" because he was a Venetian subject." There was in it, too, 
a detailed story of Wotton's warning to her ; of the mode of 
her return to the capital ; of the subsequent discussions 
between herself and the Ambassador; of their first audience 
with the Doge, with transcriptions of His Serenity's address 
on that occasion, and of Lady Arundel's reply. 

This document was signed " Henry Wotton," and being 
read, the Doge remarked that with regard to the desire of the 
Countess that they should write to England, he would tell 
her of the secret decree of the Senate directing the Ambassador 
in England to assure the Earl-Marshal and everyone else, that 
nothing had happened to alter the high esteem the Senate and 
the whole city had always entertained for the Countess. 

Wotton who was very fidgetty all through the audience, 
here interposed, saying that the communication to be made 
by the Ambassador to King James ought to conform exactly 
with the paper just read. The Doge rephed significantly that 
orders had been given for the truth of the matter to be reported. 
Wotton broke in again with — " I have to justify myself in this 
matter. ... I heard on very good authority that when 
Foscarini was asked about his night walks, he said he had 
been occasionally to Lady Arundel's house for of&cial reasons." 
Upon this the Doge and Councillors present, one and all, 
declared there was not a word of truth in the reports of 
Foscarini's " night walk," and that neither the Coimtess 
nor any English person had been mentioned at the trial. 


Now this was not true, as records of the depositions of 
witnesses have revealed to us since, and as Wotton must have 
known by inference at the time. But the Ambassador 
could do no more than accept the disclaimers, and try to 
appear relieved by them. He began a long rigmarole about 
attributing the slander to those who wished to put the blame 
of bribery on others, but the Doge ignored the remark and 
turned to the Countess — 

" We hope you wiU rest as satisfied as we shall always try 
to render you," he said in the grand manner he so well assumed. 
" As a sign of our good feeling, we have instructed two of our 
Savii, at the approaching feast of the Ascension, to place a 
gaUey at your disposal, which we hope you will accept." 

The Countess rose and expressed her thanks, and the 
Ambassador assured the Cabinet that her ladyship was 
overwhelmed with obligations. " She devotes herself and 
her sons," he said in the style of courtly compliment then in 
vogue," to the service of your Serenity, and will always pray 
that the Serene Republic may only end with the elements, and 
remain for ever glorious and powerftd." 

The same evening the " obligations " of the lady were 
fvirther increased by a present from the State of wax candles 
and sweetmeats, upon which 100 ducats of the public money 
had been spent. Lionello, the secretary, who was the bearer 
of the gift, reported that the Countess seemed entirely satisfied 
and that, as he came down from the staircasQ from waiting 
on her, the steward (Vercellini) had told him that she was 
indeed as contented as the Ambassador was confused. 
Vercellini had added that he feared Wotton had ruined his 
prospects at court by this business. These and other remarks 
of Vercellini prove that it was a constant aim of his to get 
Wotton discredited. What other aims the Venetian had, 
it is stiU difficult to determine, but that he was steward to 
Lady Arundel, as he had previously been steward to the 
Venetian Ambassador in London who followed Foscarini there, 
for political purposes of his own, is more than probable. It 
appears indeed that he, the servant, if not Lady Arundel, the 
mistress for the time of the palace on the Grand Canal, where 
it was rumoured that Foscarini " practised," did arrange 


political rendezvous there, and it is certain that he was suspected 
by the " Excellencies " of the Collegia, of having manipulated 
the affair of the Countess in a way to prevent discovery 
of his own proceedings. He was, however, a faithful servant 
to his mistress, and it is a certain aspersion on that lady's 
innocence that she did shortly leave Venice to reside for the 
rest of her stay in Italy, at Turin. All things considered, she 
got very well out of the affair ; profiting, perhaps, by King 
James's inclination for a Spanish alliance and the anxiety of 
Venice to prevent it. Her sons were subsequently pre- 
sented to the Doge, on an occasion when Ambassador Wotton 
handed to His Serenity an autograph letter in Latin express- 
ing the thanks of Jacobus dei gratia, etc. etc., to Domino Antonio 
Priuli Venetiarum Duci, amico nostra charissimo, for liberating 
from aU suspicion " consanguinece nostrm charissimce Arundelice 
et Surrics comitissce." Antonio Priuli was equal to this occasion, 
as to so many others of greater and of less importance. He 
declared that in the matter of the Countess they had only 
done what His Majesty of England would also have done 
in like case, and added that the sons of the Earl of Arundel, 
whom he embraced, had so well acquired the manners and 
tongue of the country, that he considered them very Venetians. 

This was in July 1622. In January of the following year 
was pubUshed the famous declaration of the Council of the 
Ten, called by Romanin an " act sublime," whereby all 
accusations against Antonio Foscarini cavaliere were with- 
drawn and the honour and reputation of his family indemnified. 
The authors of the falsities and impostures machinating 
against the distinguished and noble victim, had volimtarily 
confessed the fraudiolence of their depositions and their 
worthiness of condign punishment. It was fitting, therefore, 
that by a public decree the facts should be made manifest and 
" this family truly worthy of commiseration restored to its 
pristine grade of honour and reputation." 

Without regarding this act as particularly " sublime," 
it may yet be permitted to see in its printing, publishing and 
dispatch to all the courts of Europe, evidence of an intention 
of justice in that body of Ten which, of all tribunals of modern 
history, has the reputation of greatest injustice. The whole 


tale of Foscarini's condemnation, execution and subsequent 
rehabilitation is fraught with mystery. Though, undoubtedly 
falsely accused, it is not certain that no blame attached to 
him in any poUtical matters, while it is certain that in 
spite of the "act sublime" of confession and restitution, the 
Council of the Ten, with its junta of Inquisitors, Advocates 
and Doge, was much to be blamed for too keen anxiety to 
believe the worst of persons accused, and too great readiness 
to inflict " exemplary punishment " on all who came under its 



A.D. 1624 TO 1659 

THE " Ten " had yet to suffer for their mistakes in the 
Foscarini affair. The catastrophe of their fallibility 
unnerved them for a time, and made them hesitate 
to judge according to the laws, in cases in which severity was 
really demanded. In this situation it was comparatively 
easy for an insinuating Doge to defy his Promissione and to 
work for his own and his family's advantage. 

Giovanni Cornaro, the 96th Doge, was not a man who ran 
full tut at the restraints on his authority. He did not act high- 
handedly, and held no genuine views concerning the extent 
of his authority and the prerogatives of his rank. The story 
of his contest with Renier Zeno, a councillor of iconoclastic 
spirit who won the name of and proved himself to be a Re- 
former, is a revelation of the true spirit of Cornaro. 

Zeno had already distinguished himself when Ambassador 
in Rome, by faithfully reporting all intelligence of interest 
to his government, particularly that which concerned the 
granting of a papal dispensation for the marriage of the Prince 
of Wales, then in Madrid, with the Infanta. He had also 
maintained with zeal the rights of his country against papal 
encroachments, and had so offended a Cardinal who was 
nephew to the Pope, by appropriating an Abbey in Brescia, 
that the Court of Rome sent to Venice a request for 
his recall. At this a storm arose. The Senate would not 
establish a precedent for the recall of Ambassadors at the 
instance of Princes to whom they were accredited, and it was 

the opinion of the majority that Zeno had acted with integrity 



and devotion. The expedient of replacing the ordinary 
Ambassador by an Ambassador-Extraordinary for the settle- 
ment of some special questions concerning the river Po, having 
been hit upon, Zeno made a triumphal return to Venice. 
This must have been gratifying to one who " loved the applause 
of the Piazza and who desired the glory of originating con- 
spicuous reforms." He was elected a Privy Councillor of the 
Doge within a few days of his arrival in the capital, and in 
that office his combative spirit was soon in exercise. It had 
been decided to exact penalties from the many citizens who 
had failed to pay the tax of the tenth within the limit of time 
fixed. A crowd of neglectful gentlemen who did not wish a 
default-mark to be made against their names in the govern- 
ment books, besieged the door of the pay-office, but the 
Savii of the Cabinet held that out-of-time contributions 
should not be received. This punctilio greatly annoyed Zeno. 
He said it was against the public interest to refuse money 
actually tendered when there was pressing need of it. He 
argued also that it was not credible that anyone would have 
incurred the penalty by wilful delay in payment, and that, if 
there were a law which prevented the government's accept- 
ance of the money, he, as a Councillor, suspended it for three 
days. At this a Savio made the caustic comment, " The sum 
of it is, this man wishes to be a tyrant over us, when what is 
needed is that he should rest content with being a private 
citizen." " What is needed," retorted Zeno, " is that the 
Councillors who constitute the most serene Signory should be 
able to advise freely what they feel to be for the public service, 
without being impeded by the Savii, who are nothing unless 
servants of the Council." As for himself, he added, he would 
not come again to the Council, unless some such provision as 
he suggested were made. 

True to his word, Zeno absented himself from all meetings 
for some days, until another Savio — the cavaliere procurafore 
Antonio Nani — thinking that the reformer's wrath would 
have calmed down, summoned him in the name of Doge 
Giovanni Cornaro. Zeno obeyed the summons, but finding 
that his Prince took no notice of him, and that there was no 
business on hand that required his presence, he rose and 


announced that he waited to hear what commands His Serenity 
had for him, since he had invited his attendance. The Doge 
repUed that he had not summoned him, and the Savio Nani 
explained that Zeno had been called to make up the necessary 
number of Councillors for an election that was to follow. The 
election turned out to be one for quite a minor official, and 
Zeno blazed out that his patience was being abused, and that 
they were rascally knaves who had complained that he was 
not content to be a private citizen. With this, he departed, 
and, as the Doge was present, his conduct was adjudged an 
offence against the Supreme Head of the State. The matter 
being referred to the Council of the Ten, Zeno was ordered 
to appear within eight days at the prisons of the Capi of 
that body, to answer for his injurious words. To this order 
he paid no attention, and there was passed on him a 
sentence of banishment from the city, the Dogado, and all the 
provinces of the terra firma, with the condition that if he 
gave himself up within a month he should be sent for one 
year to Palma. 

Although condemned by the Ten, Zeno was exonerated 
in the public mind. It was said that his enemies had first 
provoked and then illegally sentenced htm. He remained 
for a month in his own house, and made an attempt to gain 
a hearing at a time when his chief adversary in the Council 
was being himself proceeded against. At the end of the 
month, however, he was removed from Venice and taken to 

Now just at this time Pope Urban viii appointed to be 
Cardinal, Federico Cornaro, a son of the reigning Doge. This 
proceeding was, of course, quite contrary to the laws of 
Venice, which prohibited the Doge, his sons, and grandsons, 
from accepting any ecclesiastical benefices. The ingenious 
Cornaro thought that the difficulty could be got over if 
he, from the throne, announced the appointment to the 
complete Cabinet, and asked that body to decide whether 
the Cardinalate were included in the inhibition. This course 
he adopted, and having made his request, proclaimed him- 
self in any case ready to conform to the public will and to 
order his son to refuse the dignity of Cardinal, even as he 


himself would despoil himself of the ducal corno if that were 
required of him. He did not, however, neglect to point out 
that the Cardinalate need not be regarded as among pro- 
hibited benefices and pensions, since it was nothing more 
than a title and did not carry a revenue. 

Only one member of the Cabinet — Nicolo Contarini 
— a future Doge — dared to demur to the wishes of Conaro, 
but the matter was relegated to the Senate. This body sent 
a reply stating that in the opinion of the Senate the dignity 
of Cardinal was comprised in the prohibitions, but that in 
view of the great merit of their present Doge and his family, 
and of the conditions of the times which did not allow them 
to offend the Pontiff by doing otherwise than approve of the 
election, and seeing the risk they might run in not having a 
Venetian Cardinal again for a long time, particularly one so 
affectionately disposed towards the Republic as Federico 
Cornaro, it was proposed to approve the appointment. 

Thus encouraged, Doge Cornaro permitted other irregu- 
larities of which his relations and himself were guilty, to 
continue, and indeed he added to the abuses. His brother — 
Marcantonio Cornaro — being Dean of St. Mark, against a strict 
provision of the laws — obtained permission to visit Rome with 
a grant of the sum of money it was customary to aUow a 
Venetian Cardinal going to the papal court in the public service. 
Other despites were the making of his brother-in-law, Daniele 
Dolfino, a Councillor for the division of St. Mark; the nominating 
of his youngest son, Francesco, to the Junta of the Senate ; 
and the admitting to that body also of another son, Alvise, 
who had been Ambassador in Spain. 

All these arrangements were carried out quietly enough, 
so long as Zeno remained in Palma. But in July 162; he was 
recalled through the offices of an insistent friend, ai d found 
himseK on his arrival in Venice already nominated to the 
CouncU of the Ten. He had no sooner entered that body than 
he drew attention to the various offices held by sons and 
other relatives of the Doge that were specially forbidden to 
them in many ducal Promissioni. Appealing to the Avogadon, 
he called upon them to annul the prohibited elections. These 
officers repUed that they had already thought of doing so. 


But the Doge hearing of this proceeding, took the initiative 
and himself asked to have the elections annulled, adducing in 
excuse for having previously consented to them, the latitude 
of the laws, and his ignorance of their exact sense. Presiding 
later in the Cabinet and being requested to speak. Doge Comaro 
made one of his querulous yet wily orations which reveal him 
as a man of little dignity of soul. He began with complaints 
of the ill-fortune wliich had brought upon him such labours and 
persecutions, although he worked for nothing but the public 
good. He would be overwhelmed with grief, he said, even if he 
had procured the crown through uproar and influence, but as it 
had been thrust upon him contrary to his desires, whilst he 
was enjoying a quiet life and attending only to the salvation 
of his soul, he was miserable indeed in suffering so much 
mortification. He described how the Avogadori had acted 
at the instance of Zeno, in registering a deed annulling the 
elections of his relatives to various posts, and how he himself 
had always consulted with his Council before taking any 
step, so what blame was there to him ? He had never pre- 
ferred his own interests to those of the public service, nor had 
he a different spirit from that of his nobles and all the members 
of his house, not one of whom had ever given a bad account 
of himself to the Republic. Although there had always been so 
many bishops and cardinals in his family, there had never 
been any complaint of their having been bought over by Rome. 
On the contrary, they had always remained good Venetians 
and lovers of their country. The same he would afhrm of 
himself and of his sons, in whom he knew of no delinquencies. 
If he had detected any in them, he would have turned them 
out of his house and no longer counted them his sons. He 
prayed each one present to tell him if there were any fault 
in this. He himself knew of no defect of will, although 
inany of strength. If being old and weak he could not 
fully sustain his of&ce, he would willingly, at a sign from 
them, relinquish it. 

These words moved the compassion of the Cabinet, and for 
a time a profound silence reigned. Then Nicolo Contarini 
said that, being the oldest Councillor, and since all remained 
dumb, he ventured to speak and to express astonishment 


that the Avogadori had taken upon themselves, without the 
intervention of a Councillor, to abrogate a resolution already 
sanctioned by the Signory. As to His Serenity personally, 
it might well be af&rmed that he fulfilled to the utmost the 
duties of the first citizen. 

Other speakers followed Nicolo Contarini, and it was to be 
seen that the constitutionalists of Venice were already pricking 
ears at absolutism in Zeno. As the discussion confined, the 
Avogadori entered the Council Chamber and offered informa- 
tion about the laws. But it was growing late, so the Doge 
adjourned the sitting. 

After luncheon, but before the hour for the assembly of the 
Senate, Zeno sent a message to the Doge, saying that as a 
Chief of the Council of the Ten he wished to speak with him. 
The Doge returned the reply that he could not receive him 
alone in his private apartments ; Zeno must say what he had to 
say in the Chamber of Audience in the presence of the most 
serene Signory. Comaro then repaired to the Audience 
Chamber and took up a position between the Privy Councillors 
and the Heads of the Forty. To him entered Zeno with 
secretaries of the Council of the Ten, and announced that he 
had wished to speak in private with His Serenity, but that 
the Prince had chosen better in inviting him to express his 
thoughts before his Privy Council. Being invited to sit and 
cover himself, he did so, saying that he put on his hat as a Head 
of the Council of the Ten, but as Renier Zeno he remained 
in the reverence he owed to the Doge. He then explained 
that one of the chief trusts of the Heads of the Council of the 
Ten, was that of attending to the observance of the ducal 
Promissione, with the obligation of admonishing the most 
Serene Prince when he committed transgressions. He — 
Zeno — having discovered certain transgressions of the present 
Doge, had come to do his duty. Taking out a document, he 
began to read aloud. The Doge interrupted and desired him 
to speak, but Zeno insisted on reading, in order that his words 
might not, as had happened to him before, be misrepresented. 

At this, an altercation ensued which was ended by the Doge 
saying that there was no longer need of an admonition, since 
the wrong-doings had been undone, and in any case the laws 


required that such admonitions should only be nnade by all the 
Heads of the Ten, and not by one alone. For this cause he 
refused to hear Zeno's admonition. 

The Reformer implored the Doge di grazia to submit him- 
self to the provisions of the laws, and not to allow a Capo to 
depart without a hearing. The Doge consulted with his 
Privy Councillors as to whether he were obliged to hear one 
Head alone, the while Zeno protested hotly that the Councillors 
had no right to interfere in a matter concerning the ducal 

"Patience! Signor Cavaliere," cried the Doge at last; 
" we have not deserved this torture of you — we who are your 
relative and who have favoured your interests on all occasions." 

The rebuke moved Zeno to throw himself on his knees. 

" In this posture I beseech your Serenity, for the love of 
God ! " cried he. 

But the Doge had already risen from his seat. He now 
proceeded towards the Senate Chamber. The doors were 
thrown open and the ushers called, but at the last moment, 
and when actually in the doorway, His Serenity turned and 
remarked that although he knew he was not obliged to do so, he 
would hear Zeno for the sake of public quiet. 

So all present resumed their seats, and the Secretary to the 
Ten read aloud Renier Zeno's admonition of his Doge. The 
chief complaints of the document were that Francesco and 
Alvise Cornaro had been elected to the Senate against the ex- 
press Promissioni of many Doges, and that His Serenity had in 
both cases appUed only to the Signory to confirm the elections, 
although it had been particularly provided that such confirma- 
tions should be obtained of the majority of the Privy Coun- 
cillors acting with the Great Council. It was unnecessary to 
remind His Serenity of the disorders ensuing upon the aforesaid 
confirmations, on account of their being obtained from a body 
not permitted by the laws to grant them. For these causes, 
Zeno had charged the Advocates of the Commune to censure 
the irregularities and to provide for the inviolable execution of 
the laws. 

The admonition so clearly stated the case, that Doge 
Cornaro could only bow to its reasoning and agree to the im- 


mediate substitution of other senators for his sons. Elated by 
his success, Zeno called upon Heaven to bless the Doge who, in 
submitting himself to the laws, had acted in a most princely 
fashion. For himself he claimed he had proved his devotion 
to His Serenity and his most serene family, by his conduct as 
Ambassador in Rome, where, although in order to maintain the 
dignity of an Ambassador of a crowned Sovereign, he had never 
gone to visit any other prelate, he had nevertheless called on 
the illustrious Monsignor Federico Comaro on an occasion when 
he was confined to the house by illness. To this the Doge 
replied politely that he was assured of Zeno's good intentions. 

The following day the elections of his sons' successors in the 
Senate took place in the presence of the Doge. But fresh 
trouble arose when Zeno requested that his admonition might 
be registered in the ducal Chancery. To give such publicity 
and permanency to the censures was inevitably regarded by 
Comaro as a fresh insxilt, and in the Cabinet much com- 
miseration was expressed that the Doge should be subjected 
in his old age to such hmniliation. It was feared that 
thus deprived of esteem and respect, Cornaro could never 
again appear in public, preside at solemn functions, treat with 
foreign Powers, or sustain with honour the first dignity of 
the Republic, which would itself share in the contumely in- 
flicted on its head. Upon a resolution being proposed that the 
matter should be referred to the Council of the Ten, Zeno 
mounted the rostrum and argued that the Act must be regis- 
tered, not, as he had already said, to condemn the reigning 
Prince and his sons, who were angels, but to obviate future 
abuses, of which the country was in danger because of the 
machinations of Rome, which were always being exerted to 
tempt citizens in authority by gifts of benefices and dignities. 
These considerations had moved their forefathers to draw up 
wise laws in regard to ecclesiastics ; while, because of their 
facilities for communication with foreign princes, the sons of 
Doges had been excluded from rank and vote in the Senate. 
Finally, all ducal relatives in general were debarred from mer- 
cantile undertakings on account of their special opportunities 
of excessive gain, and of the advantages they might derive from 
the customs. 


All the points of this speech of Zeno hit home. In the 
palace of the Cornari at San Polo had long been seen draperies 
of a Florentine serge, forbidden to be imported, and the sons of 
the Doges had all remained in Rome for longer periods than 
were permitted to those of their rank, while one son at least — 
Giorgio — ^was known to be interested in commerce; particu- 
larly in the transport of cattle from Zara to Venice. 

An outburst of expostulation followed Zeno's harangue, and 
the Councillor — Donato — who succeeded him in the rostrum, 
reproved him for having by himself admonished His Serenity, 
a thing contrary to the usages of the Republic Zeno was 
about to reply when Pesaro, another " Head " of the Ten, 
leapt to his feet and ordered Zeno to come down, as he and 
their third colleague — Gradenigo — ^had suspended all the 
things Zeno had done. Zeno refused to leave the rostrum, 
saying that Pesaro had no power to do as he had said. 

" No ? " cried out Pesaro, " then I appeal to the Council of 
the Ten." 

Thereupon great confusion in the Senate ; every man 
springing to his feet, both those who wanted the appeal and 
those who did not ! The result was an Assembly of the Ten 
in which the proposal of Pesaro and Gradenigo that Zeno's 
admonition should be annulled, was approved. 

But Zeno was not to be quieted, and at the next meeting of 
the Great Council he brought the charge against Pesaro and 
Gradenigo that they were liable to the penalty of two thousand 
ducats for breaking the laws regarding the ducal Promissione. 
He further declared the judging of dubious cases to be the 
function of the Great Council and not of other tribunals. He 
also asked for a decision from the Great Council as to whether 
one Head of the Ten alone could not examine and admonish 
a Doge, or whether it was necessary for all three or two of 
them to be in accord. After a long argument between Zeno 
and Pesaro, the voting went in favour of the Reformer, who 
immediately demanded a registration in the Chancery of the 
penalties incurred by his two colleagues. But great objections 
to this course were raised in the Council of the Ten, and Zeno 
withdrew his proposition upon the election of three new heads. 

By his bold reassertion of the ancient principles of the 


xiltimate power vesting in the Great Council, and of the Ten 
and all other bodies of the legislati4re deriving their authority 
from the larger assembly, Zeno won the popular reputation of 
being a severe reformer of abuses, and raised himself to the 
head of a party which may be designated the " Opposition." 
His triumphs cost him dear. At five o'clock on the evening of 
30th December 1627, as he stood beneath the portico of the 
Carta, waiting for the moment when his gondola was due, he was 
assaulted by five imrecognizable individuals who stabbed him 
in various parts of the body, and threw him for dead under a 
bench. The assailants then fled in the direction of the family 
mansion of the Comari. Reviving a little, Zeno mustered the 
force to proceed to the riva, threw himself into a gondola 
moored there, and told the boatman to take him to the house 
of a relative near by. Lively and general was the indignation 
that broke forth when the horrid fact became known through- 
out the city. The populace gathered madly on the Piazza to 
discuss the particulars of the crime. All were agreed that the 
culprit must be of the family of the Doge. It was Giorgio 
Comaro, the son whose business of importing cattle had no 
doubt been injured by Zeno's campaign against ducal indis- 
cretions, whom the people suspected. The speedy flight of the 
said Giorgio confirmed the general idea. His five accomplices 
acknowledged their guilt, and were cited to appear before the 
Council of Ten. 

It was not alone that son of Renier Zeno who presented 
himself before the Ten on the feast-day of the New Year, 
bearing the blood-stained garments of his wounded father and 
clamouring for vendetta, who declared that the punishment of 
the assailants ought to be " exemplary." It was widely said 
that in such a case Venice should not allow more noise than 
action. Streams of inquirers after the condition of Zeno 
flowed constantly towards the house where he lay. It was 
the general desire that the Council of the Ten should act 
promptly. This, it may be said, they did ; for on 7th January 
1628, the outlawry of Giorgio Comaro was pronounced 
with the usual forms. But owing to sufficient time being 
allowed the outlaw to make his provisions, the confiscation of 
his property was without effect, and Giorgio established himself 


comfortably enough at Ferrara. The Comari continued to 
hold their heads high, and the note of infamy posted in the 
courtyard of the palace went for nothing. The partiality 
of the Ten for the house of Comaro was evident. 

No wonder therefore that when the fiery Zeno recovered 
of his wounds and plunged once more into the fray of poUtics, 
his attacks on the venality and self-interest of the Council of the 
Ten were more passionate, and his determination to uphold 
the Great Council as the centre of authority, firmer than ever. 
It seemed to be beyond the power of Doge Giovanni Comaro 
to see how scandalously justice had been circumvented by 
the action of the Ten regarding his delinquent son. Neither 
could he perceive that he had come upon an hour when the 
demand for a broad basis of authority was growing, and when 
the exploiters of governmental power could no longer throw the 
dust of a mere semblance of authority in the eyes of patriots. 

A few months after Zeno's restoration to activity he was 
again elected one of the three heads of the Ten. Being 
forbidden by a former resolution of that body, which involved 
a menace of aU the rigours of the law, to speak again of matters 
already discussed, Zeno renewed his war on ducal privileges 
by demanding to read a paper before the Great Council which 
touched on the Promissione in regard to the exclusion of 
the Doge and his relatives from all debates concerning the 
ducal family. The Ten would not agree to his demand, against 
which the Doge and all his family also contended. Zeno, who 
was now aglow with the idea that his life had been given to 
him again only to be consecrated anew to his country's good, 
persisted in his demand. So persistent was he, that conserva- 
tive Councillors were enraged, and one quoted the saying of an 
earlier time — Such is this Republic that it cannot brook a Ccesar. 
He added that if a Caesar should appear, a thousand Cassiuses 
and Brutuses would immediately rise against him. Zeno 
responded that it was no action of a Caesar to express his views to 
the great Council and make that body the judge of them. The 
discussion was at its hottest, when the Doge took courage to 
say that the Cavaliere Zeno had been stirred against him by 
vendetta for an attempt on his life, of which he, the Doge, was 
in no way giiilty, and for which those who were guilty had been 


duly punished. For the rest, no one had cause to blame his 
house. His ancestors had given kingdoms to the Republic. 
This allusion to the Island of Cyprus was not very well received, 
but the Doge continued fretfully that he himself had never in 
any way transgressed his Promissione. If his sons had been 
balloted for in the Senate, all had been done by virtue of the 
deliberations of the Serene Signory . In this strain he proceeded, 
stringing the old excuses for Ids various offences, and adding that 
he had only come into the Council that morning after having 
been assured by the Councillors that he might do so, and that 
he would willingly depart when he should be told to go. 

At the end of the ducal harangue, Zeno called out : " Signori 
Avogadori, it is your business to see that the laws are observed." 

" How now ? " replied the Doge quickly, " may we not 
speak ? " 

At this there was great uproar in the Council, and much 
shouting and battering of benches on the part of the adherents of 
the Doge. A discourse from Zeno was continually interrupted, 
and he finished it with the derisive exclamation, " liberta !" 

The noise broke out afresh then, and an endeavour by the re- 
former to read a paper accusing the Doge and Privy Councillors 
of intermeddling with the ducal Promissione, was imsuccessful. 
Very soon afterwards the sitting closed. Later in the same day 
the question of the arrest of Zeno, together with such of his 
supporters as might be likely to stir an insurrection on the 
Piazza, was discussed in a Council of the Ten specially assembled 
in the Doge's own chamber; Facility was also given to the In- 
quisitors to search out any who were critical of the operations of 
the CoimcU of the Ten, and to formulate processes against them. 

When it became known that action against Zeno was con- 
templated, there was great commotion in the city and much 
lamentation over the conditions of the times which saw the 
curtailment of the dignity of the Great Council and the oppres- 
sion of public liberty. In the end, Zeno received a sentence of 
banishment for ten years. 

This sentence was very quickly reversed by a decree of the 
Great Council, which ordered also the destruction of all records 
concerning it. Zeno returned to Venice amid the applause 
of the populace, and from that time forward substituted a war 


on the abused privileges of the Ten, for his war on the pre- 
sumptions of the Doge and his relations. 

When the time came for Doge Cornaro to go hence, there was 
elected in his room the Nicolo Contarini who had at first 
opposed his predecessor on principle, and in the end supported 
him from compassion. He was a pious man, as a Doge had 
need to be in whose time came a disastrous war with Mantua 
and a terrible pestilence, largely, of course, the result of the war 
with its numerous battlefields and their long unburied corpses. 
By November 1631 the number of those dead of plague in the 
Venetian Dogado alone was 46,490. And as in 1575, it had 
been decided during an epidemic to raise the Church of the 
Redentore, so in 1630, it was determined to erect a great Temple 
to be dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of the Salvation. 

The first stone of the new church was to have been laid 
on the day of the Annunciation, which was also the day of 
the foundation of Venice. But the Doge being indisposed, 
the ceremony was postponed to April ist. The work of 
building was commenced some five months later — September 
6th, 1613 — ^but not until the 9th of November 1687 was the 
new Temple consecrated. On the 28th of November of the 
year 1631, it was announced in the name of the new Doge, 
Francesco Erizzo, and by order of the Officers of Health, 
that the city was at last free from contagion. The news was 
received with fites and public demonstrations of all kinds; 
by salvos of artillery and showers of fireworks. A proces- 
sion of the Scuole and of magistrates of all orders gorgeously 
robed, passed beneath triumphal arches that spanned the way 
from the door of the Church of St. Mark by the calle of 
Giustinian and S. Moise, to a bridge of boats, over which it 
proceeded to the farther bank of the Grand Canal, whereon 
was to rise the magnificent creation of Baldassare Longhena, 
which is the most imposing, although neither the most beautiful 
nor the most venerable, of all the monuments of Venetian 
thought, fancy and aspiration. 

The miseries of the plague had hardly been overcome, when 
the long smouldering jealousy of Venice nursed by the Ottoman 
power in Europe, burst into flame, and a war that lasted for 
twenty-five years was begun by a Turkish invasion of Crete. 


The casus belli had been built up of grievances caused by 
the depredations of the numerous piratical fleets on the 
Mediterranean and Adriatic seas. The corsairs of Barbary, 
Florenqe and Algiers had become particularly daring, but the 
most inveterate pirates of them all were the Knights of Malta. 

In 1644, a fleet of Turkish vessels, with pilgrims to Mecca 
and rich cargoes on board, was attacked and overpowered 
by a Maltese buccaneering squadron, which sailed with its 
prizes to Kalismene, an insufficiently protected port in the 
south of Crete. There water and provisions were obtained, 
and rescued Greeks and inconvenient horses seized from the 
Turks, landed. 

This affront was just the provocation the Sultan Ibrahim 
had been waiting for. He had long desired to recover Crete, 
as Cyprus had been recovered, but he went through the form 
of parlejdng with such representatives of the greater Christian 
powers as were then in Constantinople. While he talked, 
however, he fitted out a fleet of four hundred sail for the 
transport — professedly to Malta — of fifty thousand fighting- 
men. This fleet issued from the Dardanelles on 30th April 
1645. The first ports made were Tino and Navarino, where 
additional ships and men were gathered. From Navarino the 
Turks steered boldly for Crete. 

Great was the consternation in Venice and the Archipelago 
when the destination of Ibrahim's armada became known. 
The best possible provision was at once made by the Proveditor- 
General of the army in Crete, but Canea, one of the four chief 
towns of the island, could not be put into a proper state of 
defence at short notice, and in the following August its de- 
fenders were overpowered by the Turks. Meanwhile, some 
allies had sent out small fleets — five galleys each from the 
Pope, Tuscany and Naples, and six from Malta — but these all 
put themselves in safety in harbours near Zante and other 
islands off the west coast of Greece, and, even when joiped 
by a more formidable flotilla from Venice, would not go to the 
aid of the Cretan garrisons. To occupy the island, now that 
Canea had been taken, seemed to the cautious a forlorn hope. 
It was not only that the Ottoman hordes had obtained an 
advantage, and that even the winds and tides seemed to be 


fighting for them, but the season was advanced and provisions 
were running short. The auxiliaries did in the end make 
junction with the Venetian forces, but sailed away after stand- 
ing by for thirty-seven days of weather too stormy for fighting. 

Now the Candiot war, together with the Morean to follow 
it, was to bring once more into full activity the ancient heroism 
of the Venetian character. The Signory and the subjects of 
Venice alike were to enter with enthusiasm into an all but 
single-handed contest with the greatest nation — ^reckoning by 
the size of its armies and navies and the inexhaustibility of 
its funds — of that day. 

In Venice, the heart and head of the Empire, the sword was 
unsheathed ; a little late, but very determinately. Troops were 
sent into Dalmatia and Corfu ; galleys dispatched to scour 
the seas ; Lido and Malamocco ref ortified ; a strong man 
sent to govern Friuli ; and with much preparation and every 
equipment of war a great fleet fitted out for the defence of 
Crete. Everything was completely planned, except the 
appointment of a Captain-General, and when a vote for this 
post was taken in the Senate, the name of the Doge appeared 
on the majority of the ballot discs. Francesco Erizzo was an 
old man of eighty, but (like how many Doges of yore ?) he was 
ready, despite the frailties of his age, to sacrifice for his country 
the little of life that was left to him, and the public admiration 
of his devoted act triumphed over all objections of fidgety 
senators who had much to say of the inconvenience and 
expense of a Doge accompanying an army abroad. Two 
Councillors were nominated as special supporters of Erizzo 
on the expedition, and all preparations were advanced when 
the hero was snatched away by death, leaving the record of his 
patriotism as an inspiration for those who came after him. 

It was not allowed to his successor — Francesco Molino — 
to follow in the steps Erizzo would have taken. Molino's Pro- 
missione contained clauses forbidding Doges in the future to 
leave the city without licence, and compelling them to visit 
the magistrates in their courts and hear causes on the first day 
of each month, and to go every three months, but without 
appointment, to inspect the Arsenal. To save expense, both 
for the Arts-Guilds and the people in general, the coronation 


of the Dogaressa was abolished, and it was prohibited to 
nephews of Doges to be sent as ambassadors to foreign countries. 

One of the first acts of poUcy under Francesco Molino, was 
the sending of messengers to the chief European courts to ask 
for help; either direct aid, by dispatch of troops to Crete, 
or indirect, by creating diversions in other lands where Turkey 
was encroaching. But from all except France, refusals were 
the only responses. Under the pretence of mediating in favour 
of Venice, Cardinal Msizarin sent an emissary to Constantinople, 
whose business really was to assure the Sultan that the arma- 
ments of France were directed only against Italy. On his 
way back to Paris, this French envoy stopped in Venice and 
told the Senate that a terrible war threatened, and the Venetians 
had better try to avoid it by prompt negotiation. 

But the blood of the lagoon dwellers was up, and their 
only care was to be ready in the spring to repel all onslaughts 
of the Turks upon their colonies. Crete, of course, and par- 
ticularly the port of Candia, was the chief place to be defended, 
but the area of the WEir stretched from that island in the south, 
to Constantinople on the north-east, and Istria on the north-west. 

In the beguming the movements of the Venetian com- 
manders resulted mainly in a series of fiascos. Many captains 
and crews of single vessels performed prodigies of valour, and 
Candia was always stoutly defended, but the forces were 
badly directed, and two Captains-General were appointed in 
succession before the post was given to Leonardo Mocenigo, 
who took command in Crete in 1648. At that time the Turks 
were fiercely besieging the fortified town of Candia, and the 
plague which had appeared on the island in the previous 
year was still ravaging the small army composed of 6000 
soldiers, some inhabitants, a few locally raised condotti, and 
a small troop of Frenchmen not under the direct command 
of Mocenigo. So closely was the town invested, so near to 
it were the works, that a Turkish victory seemed certain. But 
Leonardo Mocenigo scorned to show fear of the overwhelm- 
ing numbers of the enemy, or of the thundering day and 
night of the Turkish cannon. Even the great towers and 
earth-banks which rose without the breaches of the walls of 
Candia, and from which the assailants fired down on a city 


ill-supplied with appliances of defence to match the new in- 
ventions of attack wielded by the enemy, gave him no alarm. 
Subterranean passages winding in all directions had been 
dug by the Turks, and a very formidable mine being suddenly 
discovered by a Venetian of&cer, he fled from his post crying, 
" Lost, all is lost ! " This shout of despair was the inspiration 
of Mocenigo. 

" Very well," he shouted back, " let us die with our arms 
in our hands." 

Then waving encouragement to the panic-stricken, " Let 
the brave follow me ! " he cried. 

Thus he rallied the soldiers and collected the citizens, 
exciting even the women to collect stones and hurl 
them at the enemy. The Turks had already mounted a 
bastion, from which it was only a jump on to the Piazza, but 
Mocenigo drove them back into trenches which were soon 
heaped high with swarthy corpses. Forced to retire, the 
assailants could not at once return to the attack, and the 
arrival of reinforcements from Venice rendered Mocenigo's 
victory complete. 

The general situation, however, was bad for Venice, and it 
was proposed in the Senate that the Doge and twenty-four 
honourable nobles to be elected by the Great Council, should 
be empowered to treat for peace. Before negotiations could 
be opened, a fresh outrage of the Turks made an honourable 
peace impossible. The Sultan Ibrahim having been throttled 
in a revolt in his own seraglio, the Cavaliere Alvise Contarini 
was sent with the usual congratulations to his successor. It 
was thought that some help in arriving at a peace might be 
obtained from the new Sultan Mahomet, who was only twelve 
years old. But when the Grand Vizier found that Contarini 
brought no offer to yield Crete, he not only refused him passports 
but barbarously strangled his interpreter and put the Venetian 
BaUiff (Soranzo) and all his suite in prison, first driving them 
through the streets, loaded with chains and exposed to the 
insults of the populace. 

So the war began again, and Crete was once more the scene 
of marvellous feats of Venetian valour. Again the Turks, 
despairing to take the town by assault, had recourse to mines 


and other engineering devices. Again reinforcements were 
sent both from Venice and from Constantinople. And in 
and out the isles and promontories of the Archipelago, and up 
and down the byways of the Gulf, penetrating even to the 
narrows of the Dardanelles, the Proveditor Jacopo Riva and„ 
other sea-dogs of old Venice sailed to the harassment of Turkish 
war-ships wherever they were to be f oimd. In the winter of 1650 
the main fleet of the Turks, taking advantage of Riva's return 
to Venice for refit and repairs, sheltered within the Dardanelles, 
whence a formidable flotilla sailed forth in June 1651, with 
commission to make for the Gulf of Venice. This fleet carried 
devastation and terror wherever it went. But upon the evening 
of 7th July, the ships of Venice met those of Ttirkey in the way, 
and a desperate engagement took place close to the Island 
of Paros in the heart of the Archipelago. The fight went on 
for days, the greatest bravery being displayed by the out- 
numbered Italians. But the chief distinction of the battle lies in 
the fact that the leading coimnanders on the Venetian side 
were the three successive Captains-General, Leonardo Mocenigo, 
Lazzaro Mocenigo and Francesco Morosini, who one and 
all rank as heroes, and of whom the last became the Doge of 
fame on whom Venice conferred the title of Peloponnesiaco. 
In this early encounter Morosini came opportunely to the 
rescue of a galley on which the Captain was resisting desper- 
ately an attack by several Turkish ships. The honours of the 
whole engagement lay with the Venetians, and when news 
of the " most luminous victory " reached the capital, the 
Great Council suspended its session, and followed the Doge 
Francesco Molino to San Marco, where a great service of 
national thanksgiving was held. And while Venice rejoiced, 
mutiny and riot in Constantinople drove the Grand Vizier 
to ask for the intervention of France in arranging a peace. 
But no terms could be agreed. The war had still to go on. 

Both Leonardo and Lazzaro Mocenigo had died heroically in 
active exercise of their commands, and four Doges, Carlo Con- 
TARiNi, Francesco Cornaro, Bertuccio Valier and Giovanni 
Pesaro had followed Francesco Molino on the ducal throne, 
before the great Francesco Morosini was appointed Captain- 
General in 1666. 


A.D. 1667 TO 1694 

WHEN to Francesco Morosini was at last given the 
supreme command of the Venetian navy, his country 
was exhausted by its Uberal doles of men and money. 
A time when peace would have to be made was fast approaching. 
Indeed it may be said that Venice had emptied herself into 
Crete. Not only had she lavishly expended there her gold and 
her nobility, but she had sacrificed to it her industries. It was 
a duty of the Arti to furnish rowers for vessels of war from 
their craftsmen, and so great had been the demand that the 
supply was drained to the dregs. 

But matters were different in Crete. The regular troops 
there numbered sixty thousand besides such of the inhabi- 
tants as were able to bear arms. There were also many expert 
of&cers and highly-trained engineers on the Island, and the 
number of bronze cannons, mostly of large calibre, was over 
four hundred. Food and ammunition were likewise abundant, 
and monthly consignments from Venice replenished the store. 
Yet all these provisions were insufficient, when matched against 
the innumerable host investing Candia, with its inexhaustible 
stream of supplies, both of men and of victuals, and its mar- 
vellous array of fighting-engines. Not only the cannon with 
their balls of extraordinary weight, but the mortars and other 
stone-throwing machines were all of the latest pattern money 
could buy, and in the greatest number that could possibly be 
employed. Besides, the Turks had so extended the depths and 
ramifications of their mines, that the Venetians were as much 

in danger of being blown sky-high within their fortresses, and 



even while taking refuge in their numerous excavations, as they 
were of being felled to the ground by the showers of stones, 
bombs and other missiles that so frequently darkened the air. 
It is true that the roofs of the mines often fell in upon the Turks 
working in them or filing along for a daring attack on the town, 
but these discomfitures did not balance the dangers of them to 
the garrison and inhabitants of Candia. By degrees, nearly the 
whole population of Crete had taken refuge in the best-fortified 
port of the island, the defence of which had been so gallantly 
maintained that between May and November of the year 1667 
alone, thirty-two assaults were repulsed, and seventeen sorties 
made, while six hundred and eighty explosions took place on 
one side or the other of the walls. There perished also either 
from wounds or sickness, three thousand two hundred Venetians 
(of whomfour hundredwere officers) and twenty thousand Turks. 

Indeed the great losses on the side of the invaders had 
caused the swarming Moslems to leave the attack for a time, 
and to attempt to win by persuasions and menaces what they 
had failed to gain by force of arms. But in this hour of trial 
every inhabitant of Candia proved himself a hero. The women 
fought with the men, and helped to repair the fortifications. 

Then came the new Captain-General to the Island. It was 
winter, and his first care was to repair still further the defences, 
to construct new ones, and, in all ways, to prepare the garrison 
for a strenuous and terrible season. His first decided exploit 
was a successful one. Divining a movement of the enemy to 
cut off the delivery of provisions from Venice, Morosini, in the 
night of 7th March 1668, bore down suddenly with twenty 
galleys on the Turkish squadron that had been sent out to attack 
a small fleet with which Lorenzo Cornaro was scouring the neigh- 
bouring waters. At first the Turks thought they had Cornaro's 
vessels at their mercy, but the desperate combat that ensued 
revealed to them their mistake. The battle was made more 
terrible by the darkness. Both sides fought boldly, but the 
sensation of the contest was created by Morosini. Durac, a 
famous corsair in the Turkish employ, was making to board a 
galley of Nicolo Polani, when the Captain-General, his bark 
flaming with torches, swooped down upon the contending 
vessels, and opened a way for his fleet to divide that of the 


enemy. The startling splendour of Morosini's fireworks so terri- 
fied the Turks that their boats were put about in confusion, and 
the Venetians had the victory with five galleys of the enemy, four 
hundred prisoners and one thousand Christian slaves who had 
been rowers on the Mohammedan vessels. These slaves were 
immediately set free. Great praise was given to Morosini for 
his bold and original movement, and the title of Cavaliere was 
conferred on him by the Senate. 

But the success of Venice only whetted the anger of the 
Turks and drove the Vizier in command of the Cretan army 
to a more ruthless expenditure of his soldiers' lives. The 
fighting on the walls of Candia became fiercer every day. 
Hand-to-hand combats were frequent. Forts were taken and 
retaken. Mines were sprung and stores of powder exploded 
as a demonstration of force. The inhabitants of Candia lived in 
their pits of refuge, and the entire garrison of the city was 
reduced to five thousand men. 

The name of Candia was now famous throughout Europe. 
Upon that narrow spot of bravely defended earth had 
descended a romantic reputation, and it had become the 
fashion with young gallants of all nations to repair to the 
assistance of General Morosini. Some of these, although in 
command of valuable companies, proved hinderers rather 
than helpers of Morosini's plans. It was no part of the excite- 
ment they had promised themselves, to remain huddled together 
within the walls of Candia. They wanted to ride out and give 
battle ; to perform feats of daring and horsemanship that 
would astonish the world, beginning of course with the Turks. 

Various bodies of these allies caiiie at two separate times, 
and the adventurers of French blood with some striplings 
among other leaders, were difficult to keep in hand. Because of 
their voluntary aid and the numbers of their followers, Morosini 
was forced to let them have their way at times. Their sorties, 
however, ended always either in complete failure or hope- 
less confusion. Then, when vanity had been satisfied, these 
dashing princelings sailed away, leaving Morosini — the true 
hero — still at his post of most uncomfortable and laborious 
defence. Once during these times of friendly assistance, 
Morosini watched the progress of a skirmish he had advised 


against, from the fort of San Dimitri. As the day progressed, 
the unhappy issue could be only more clearly foreseen. For a 
last effort, the General himself led a party out to cover the 
retreat, and gave orders for cannon and musket volleys to be 
poured on the enemy. But no dash on his part could render an 
iU-planned movement successful, and the toll of the dead on the 
Venetian side for that day's display alone, was close on five 
hundred. In prisoners not more than ten were lost. They 
knew how to die fighting, those dare-devils. It was for sur- 
render they had no taste. Other fruitless sorties followed on 
this one. The mass of the enemy remained impervious to such 
gnat-like irritations. So losing heart and hope as quickly as 
they had once mounted courage, all allies at last deserted 
Mqrosini, turning a deaf ear, in their anxiety to be gone, both 
to his remonstrances and to the supplications of the inhabitants 
of Candia. The garrison was now reduced to three thousand, 
and, although the Turks began to say that they were fighting 
not men but supernatural beings, it was seen in Venice, as in 
Crete, that capitulation could not be long deferred. Ambassa- 
dors were sent to Constantinople to treat for peace under certain 
conditions, but the Grand Vizier could not be talked over, and it 
looked like a fight to the finish of an awful ignominy for Venice. 
Now gallant and brave as Morosini undoubtedly was, and 
willing to give his life for his country, he could not call out as the 
simpler hero, Leonardo Mocenigo, had done in a simpler crisis, 
" Let us die with our arms in our hands." He saw that such 
an end for the military defenders of Candia must lead either 
to barbarous deaths or to tortures and enslavements worse 
than death, for a number of innocents (men, women and 
children) who looked to him for protection of life, limb and 
honour. He saw too — for he had the prescience of the truly alert 
— that negotiations for peace could only be effected on the spot, 
and that to avoid a most humiliating rout they must be entered 
into at once. The Turks who had actually fought against the 
Venetians, had the most respect for them and believed their 
position less vultierable than it was thought to be by onlookers 
at a distance ; indeed less vulnerable than it actually was. 

In the matter of the peace concluded by Morosini in Crete, 
without the aid of Council, Senate or Cabinet at Venice, it 


cannot be said that he acted high-handedly or in a hasty 
manner. His first move was to assemble in conclave all his 
officers who were also all the chief men of the besieged city. 
To these he exposed the true condition of things, and lamented 
the state to which they were reduced. He then begged them 
to consider everything thoroughly, and to make such a proposi- 
tion as seemed to them best to fit the case. 

A dead silence fell on the assembly ; then a silence mingled 
with sobs. No one would be the first to express his opinion in 
the difficult emergency. 

One by one, Morosini had to draw them to state their views. 
There were some who proposed to blow up the fortress by 
means of furnaces and mines, but they acknowledged the 
difficulty of rescuing at the same time the inhabitants — civU 
and military — and the armaments. Others proposed bring- 
ing all the galley-slaves ashore to construct new defences, 
but it was pointed out that the difficulty of protecting these 
while they wofked, would be great. Slowly, the debate ebbed 
and flowed ; each speaker knowing in his mind that there could 
be no longer any resistance. So at last, and tearfully, it was 
decided that the city which had been besieged for two-and- 
twenty years, and in which the fighting had been aU but 
incessant for three years, should be ceded under an honourable 
compact with the foe. 

Yet the General was loth to surrender, and he made a last 
attempt to hold the place. The papal commandant — the last 
of the allies to leave — was on the point of embarking with 
the troops he had brought with him, when Morosini sent to 
him the message that if he would leave behind only 3000 
soldiers, he — Morosini — would undertake to stand firm all 
the winter. But the pontifical one refused all further aid. 

It was now only left to Morosini to show to the Vizier of the 
Turkish army a disposition to negotiate, and to devote all 
his energy and subtlety to transforming the capitulation into 
a treaty of peace. In this a-^tion he certainly over-stepped 
tne limits of his general powers. At his own life's risk he 
assumed the responsibilities of a plenipotentiary, believing that 
he did so for his coimtry's good. 

At first the Vizier would not listen to any terms, so sure 


was he that Candia could hold out no longer. But by the 
avoidance of appeal and the preservation of a demeanour of 
assurance, Morosini extracted from the victorious Turk certain 
conditions rmder which, although Candia had to be yielded, 
the remnant of the Venetian population and of the Venetian 
army was saved from falling into cruel hands. Another fortress 
on the Island still held by the Italians, was first offered to the 
Vizier. He scornfully refused it. It was to be only Candia 
for the Turks, whether by conquest or by cession. Finally it 
was agreed that Morosini with the last Doge of Crete, Zaccaria 
Mocenigo, and all the garrison and inhabitants, should sail away 
from Candia on a given day, taking with them 328 of the best of 
their cannon, all ammunition and the sacred objects of their re- 
ligious worship. Besides these concessions, it was to be permitted 
to the Venetians to continue to hold three ports on the island — 
Carabusa, Suda and Spinalunga — ^with their adjacent lands, and 
the Turks were to make no demand for a money indemnity. 

On the 26th of September 1669 the evacuation took place, 
and it is noticeable that with the exception of a very few 
of the serving class, none of the inhabitants of Venetian origin 
consented to remain on the island. They knew what Christian 
people had to endure under the domination of the Turk, and 
the offers of the Republic to assign to emigrant families from 
Crete, houses and grounds in Istria and annual payments of 
money and com on other islands of the Levant, were thank- 
fully accepted by many among the fugitives. 

Thus ended a siege which by its duration and its heroic 
defence on one hand and its obstinate assault on the other, 
as well as by the outpouring of lives and the extensive use of 
mines and explosives, is unparalleled in history. That in the 
end, all the heroism and devotion, to say nothing of the cost 
in men and money, resulted only in a loss to the Republic which 
was never compensated for by any subsequent gain, was a 
calamity indeed ; yet the management of Francesco Morosini 
at the last, even as his bravery and strategy during the three 
years that preceded the treaty, made the surrender of Candia 
almost as glorious as its defence had been. 

The words of Pope Clement ix, who had been eager as no 
Pope before him for the Venetian success, and who had aided 


Morosini's efforts to the utmost of his power, appraised the 
accomplishment of that illustrious General in its true degree. 
The conduct and devotion of the most prudent and excellent 
Captain-General, so Clement said, had been admirable. 
Abandoned by all allies and faced with the inevitable loss of 
the place, he had been able to convert the negotiations and 
the conclusions into a signal advantage that was beyond all 
belief. A similar case, the Pontiff declared, was not to be 
found in history. Morosini had won glory for the Republic 
and immortalized his own name. 

In fact, the wise and prudent of every nation applauded 
the issue of the long combat. The circumstances being as they 
were, Morosini had chosen the better part of valour and had 
done what he could to prevent a greater danger, not only to 
innocent families and an exhausted soldiery, but to a con- 
siderable remnant of the Venetian fleet which lay in Candiot 
waters, and which, but for the capitulation, would have been 
utterly destroyed. But Morosini undoubtedly acted without 
direct reference to the Senate and, in a part, against the earlier 
orders of his Government. He did so because he knew himself 
and the other statesmen and military commanders on the spot, 
to be in a better position to estimate the instant consequences of 
further resistance. The wisdom and the courage of his actions 
were more fully revealed what time the newly appointed 
Avogador Antonio Corraro brought against him accusations of 
violating his country's laws and usurping the sovereign power. 

The criticisms of Corraro were essentially those of a carper 
whose own life had not been ventured on the cast of a war 
he would have conducted otherwise. His complacency, how- 
ever, was not so much that of an armchair politician, as of 
an advocate with whom prosecution is an instinct and who 
is blinded to all intentions and actualities that govern the 
actions of the persons he accuses, because of his passion for the 
letter of the Law that has been his life-study. Corraro was 
also an orator, vehement and ingenious. By him the actions 
of Morosini were made to appear all unheroic. He even accused 
the Captain-General of deliberately allowing the Turks to take 
possession of a bastion of Candia's fortifications in order to 
facilitate the capitulation he had already planned. Skilfully 


did Corraro re-tell the story of Mocenigo's earlier defence 
of the Cretan city, in order to disparage the later one by Morosini. 
" When the most excellent Captain-General Mocenigo, 
of ever-glorious memory, found himself almost constrained by 
force and violence to yield the place," declared Corraro 
oratoricaUy, " when the assailants pressed into the breaches of 
the walls on which they had already planted their standards, 
with what a generous and persuasive spirit did he not in that 
predicament rally his soldiers ! With sword flashing in his 
hand, he thundered out that he would hang by the neck as an 
infamous traitor, the first who dared to speak of yielding." 
And, according to Corraro, Mocenigo added other words which 
were " worthy of being graven on the heart of every zealous 
citizen." These were : " A Mocenigo has not received from his 
country the command and government of this place to give it to the 
Turks ; we ought all to die, and I first, upon the walls of Candia, 
as upon so many altars. We ought all to sacrifice our very lives." 
In tones of infinite contempt, Corraro followed this 
relation with the statement that the city had been thus glori- 
ously preserved by Mocenigo, only to be ceded scornfully 
by Morosini. Reinforcements from three sources, Rome, 
France and the Duke of Mirandola, were already on the way 
to Crete, and Candia itself had been sufficiently supplied with 
troops to hold out longer, when the Captain-General capitulated. 
Corraro omitted to say how small were these aids and how 
long, with the exception of the little convoy of the Duke, which 
did actually arrive, they would have been a-coming. With 
the airy irresponsibility of the eloquent and the prejudiced, 
the Avogador further declared that although Morosini had 
himself admitted that he had 1500 infantry still alive, there 
had been no considerable sortie made, and no attack repulsed 
for some months past. " Oh, most excellent Signor Captain- 
General ! " exclaimed the advocate in peroration, " Is this 
the ardent zeal of your soul, the effect of your promises, the 
fruit of your voyage ? How have you vindicated by deed 
the protests made to the public ? No, it was your tongue and 
not your heart spoke. You gave words, nothing but words ! " 
A notable effect was produced on the Great Council by 
this speech. The fall of Candia had made the pride of Venice 


smart, and there were many who longed to believe that the 
fault of one man had brought about the loss of this important 
outpost and colony of their once extensive empire. But there 
arose another orator whose defence of the General was as 
passionate as the attack had been. The Cavaliere Giovanni 
Sagredo, a kinsman of the reigning Doge, NicoLO Sagredo, 
gave a graphic account of all the difficulties Morosini had had 
to contend against, and all the damage that, throughout the 
war, had been inflicted on the Turks and borne by the Venetians. 
Not only had Candia and its vicinity become, in the course 
of the years of its defence, a place of carnage and horror, which 
the later incessant vomit of fire had rendered a veritable 
inferno, but without its resisting walls 130,000 Turks had 
perished, as had also many slave-soldiers impressed from 
Natolia and Greece. Within the walls, during the same time, 
280 noble citizens of Venice had poured out their life-blood 
and over 100,000 Christian soldiers from many lands met 
their death. Other treasures had been also sacrificed in pro- 
fusion, and to reinforce and provision the garrison over ,800 
ships had been employed. It was true the country had been 
lost, but there had been won a glory greater than any yet 
published by the trumpets of fame. The fighting in Candia 
had not been, as at La Rochelle and Ostend, by cannon alone, 
but sword in hand and breast to breast, every inch of ground 
had been contested. In the end, some territory had been 
sacrificed to a barbarous power, nevertheless the Republic 
had prosecuted a glorious vendetta. The Turks themselves 
confessed that not since the beginning of their Empire, had 
the acquisition of any land cost them so dear. The defence 
had been also glorious for Venice and a benefit to Christianity ; 
for while the Turks threw all their forces on to the Candiot 
attack, Germany, Poland and the Knights of Malta had been 
able to resist the menaces of the Porte in other directions. 
And after all this, there was talk of ruining Morosini ! What 
would the Turks say when they learned that the Republic 
repaid the services of its captains in such a manner ? What 
would Christian nations think of a Senate that had the 
reputation of justice, piety and generosity ? 

Continuing, Sagredo answered more directly the attacks 


of Corraro by proving the extremity to which Candia had 
been reduced; an extremity attested by the opinions of 
of&cers who had been there. Sagredo was not unqualified 
to speak of the condition of the island and the Venetian needs 
in it, for not only had he gone on embassies for his country to 
France and Germany, and so had had to be informed of what was 
taking place in all countries to which the Venetian rule extended, 
but he had been sent fifteen years before on a special mission 
to Oliver Cromwell for the purpose of stirring England to 
aid the Venetian army already in stress at Candia. That 
aid had not been sent, but Sagredo, like every other patriot 
of Venice, had followed the course of the war, and was now able 
to quote accounts given by eye-witnesses of Morosini's conduct. 

He contended also that it was impossible for Morosini 
to have been guilty of the preconceived design of sacrificing the 
city in his charge, since it would have been all to his honour 
and advantage to have held the place longer. He who had 
for years been ever ready to expose and risk his life at his 
country's call, could not have changed Jiis disposition in a 
single moment. 

But Corraro was not convinced. He insisted that since 
the dignity of Procurator of St. Mark had not been conferred 
on Morosini by a legal election, but by an exceptional decree 
made in the same moment in which Candia had been ceded, 
an inquiry into the whole affair was necessary and ought to 
be undertaken by the Great Council. 

A loud hubbub greeted this announcement, which challenged 
the custom of referring all matters of an inquisitorial nature 
to the Council of the Ten. The voting on Corraro's proposition 
was about equally divided for and against, but no resolution 
was passed. Two days later, Corraro again brought forward 
his proposition, and with such mordant criticism of Sagredo's 
contribution to the debate, that the Councillors began to take 
sides with acrimony, and there had been a scandalous scene of 
conflict, had not Michele Foscarini, whose subsequent History 
of Affairs Venetian was dedicated to The most serene Prince 
Francesco Morosini, Doge of Venice, intervened with some 
well-considered words that quieted, if they did not persuade, 
all excited spirits. 


Foscarini argued that the election of Morosini to be Pro- 
curator had not been contrary to the laws and usages of the 
^Republic, since that dignity had always been reserved for 
meritorious citizens who had served their country. It had 
been often conferred on those who had aided the public funds 
with gifts of money, was it not therefore fitting that it should 
be given to one who had shed his blood and hazarded his life in 
his country's service ? " Corraro had expressed to the Great 
Council his intention of prosecuting an inquiry into what had 
taken place in Candia. That would be an act of justice, be- 
cause inquisitions established the innocence or guilt of parties, 
but his present request set aside the laws in an objectionable 
manner. He proposed, so he said, to formulate a process, and 
he began by condemning the subject of it. Before proving the 
fault, he passed sentence on it. He wished to degrade a respected 
citizen without knowing him to be a culprit. This was to act 
contrary to the laws and to introduce abhorrent innovations, 
not allowable under the prudent institutions of their govern- 
ment, even in minor cases. This one concerned reputation 
and was grave. Votes should not be extorted by accusations 
and insinuations." In conclusion, Foscarini urged that it 
mattered little to the Republic that to the number of those who 
had won the dignity of Procurator of St. Mark, Morosini was 
added; what was much more important, was that citizens 
should not be estranged by dissensions, and that spiteful acts 
of private interest should not disturb public tranquillity. 

By the voting which quickly followed this speech, Corraro's 
motion was rejected, and Morosini confirmed in the ofiice — 
albeit a supernumerary one — of Procurator of St. Mark. 
After this decision, Corraro reverted to his first proposal and 
an Inquisitor — Erizzo — was appointed. His inquiry was 
divided into two parts : one concerned the defence of Candia ; 
the other, the management of the exchequer there. Examina- 
tions were duly made, and when the case was concluded, it was 
found that the uniform feeling of all the witnesses — who 
numbered a host, and were of many ranks and nationalities — 
was that nothing had been lacking in the defenders in the way 
of courage and perseverance. Resistance had been carried to 
the last grade of possibility. In regard to the money def alca- 


tions, a minister of the Commission of Marine was found to 
have made false entries in the public books, and, on suspicion of 
association with him in his malversations, a high Paymaster of 
the Navy and a Proveditor of Candia, with the Captain-General 
himself, were imprisoned. In the end, however, the facts were 
made clear, and the innocence of Morosini acknowledged by 
the Senate and acclaimed by his fellow-citizeiis. Yet greater 
honours and louder plaudits were in store for him, who had 
to win sharper battles and employ cleverer strategies than any 
he had appUed to the defence of Candia. 

In an interregnum following thp death of Doge Alvise 
CoNTARiNi in January 1684, Francesco Morosini was again 
nominated Captain-General of the Venetian forces. He had 
been proposed for the ducal ofifice, but it was so strongly felt 
that it would be for the greater service and glory of his country 
to make him Captain-General, that his name was passed over 
and Marcantonio Giustinian chosen. 

This Doge had been only four months on the throne when 
on St. Mark's Day, 25tb April, while he was attending a festival 
service in the Basilica in the company of the Imperial Ambas- 
sador the Count Thum, there arrived from Vienna an invitation 
to aU Christian Princes to join the " Holy Alliance " of Leopold, 
Emperor of Austria, and John iii (Sobieski), King of Poland, 
for the re-possession of lands snatched from them by the 
Turks. The response of Venice to this appeal, and the nego- 
tiations entered into concerning it, wakened in the mind of the 
Captain-General his great design of re-conquering the Morea. 
Venice became the third party to the Alliance. 

Very pompously was Morosini sent forth, and signal were 
the marks of honour which indicated his full restoration to the 
rank of a nation's hero. A grand new galley, one hundred and 
fifty feet long and twenty wide, with all kinds of extra- 
ordinary dimensions of poop, masts and sails, and having 
forty-one oars sixty feet long, each oar being managed by eight 
rowers, was built for him. Many standards and banners of 
wondrous meaning floated from the masts of this vessel and, 
because it was the flag-ship of the Captain-General, three 
lanterns were swung from a staff that rose from the poop. 
The decorations of the interior, as well as of the outer supports 


of the poop, were marvellous, with gilded bambini in high 
relief and friezes of minute intaglio. A cannolato (? laurel 
branch) was upheld on either side by a gilded group of five 
Turks in chains, modelled in various postures. There were 
also many other sculptured and gilded objects of significance, 
and the cabins of Morosini were lined with mirrors, pictures 
and trophies of arms. Cannons, great and small, were posted 
aU round the deck, and two windows gave good light to the 
dining-saloon, which was furnished with tables and chairs of 
a comfortable kind, and divided from another compartment 
by crimson damask curtains fringed with gold. In this inner 
cabin the tables were covered with maps, charts, sketches of 
walled towns and designs of fortifications. Books of a kind 
that would be instructive to the commander of a naval 
expedition were also ranged there ; and a great compass, with 
appliances to register all the changes of the wind, was a 
scientific treasure for Morosini's own use. Six windows, 
through which a look-out on all sides could be kept, gave 
the last touch of convenience to this splendid yet workmanlike 

The embarkation of Morosini was marked by the usual 
ceremonies. He sailed first to the Church of the Salute for a 
Benediction on his enterprise, then to San Giorgio Maggiore, 
where he assumed the full habit of a Captain-General. On 
this island the senators had assembled to accompany his 
galley to the Lido. Preceded by the Ducal Court on 
the Bucintoro, surrounded and followed by innumerable 
gondolas and other heavier and lighter barks, and saluted 
by cannon shots, the fanfare of trumpets and the popular 
shouts of Vittoria I Vittoria ! Morosini came to the Lido, where 
he received the farewell visits of the nobility and had con- 
signed to him 100,000 zecchini for purposes of the expedition 
other than those already provided for. 

The account of the sailing of his fleet from the Lido to 
Rovigno in Istria, and all along the Dalmatian coast by the 
islands of Lesina and Curzola, on to Ragusa and Corfu, reads 
like a history repeated of the progresses of the Doges who first 
went forth to claim the far inheritance of Venice. Everywhere 
the welcomes of a vociferous populace and the homage of 


high officials of Church and State, were so many acts of recog- 
nition of the sovereignty of Venice, and Morosini, though 
bom out of due time, being either too early or too late to 
rehabilitate his country's greatness and preserve her dominance 
of wide colonial possessions, knew how to accept reverence 
in the princely manner. He knew when to go forth to meet, 
and when to receive in highest state, the aids of money, men 
and ships, it was the abject of his cruise to obtain, and which 
were indeed granted him, for quite a second army was formed 
by levies made in the Dalmatian and island ports. Upon his 
arrival at Corfu, his fleet was augmented by small squadrons 
sent to his assistance by the Pope, the Duke of Tuscany and 
the Grand Hospitaller of Malta. 

His first act of hostility was the bombardment of the 
strongly fortified port of Santa Maura, and it is interesting 
to read the letter from Francesco Morosini, Cavalier e, Procuratore 
and Generalissimo of the " potent Armada of the Serene Re- 
public of Venice " to Bichir Aga (the Turkish governor) and 
all inhabitants of Santa Maura. In this letter, the Captain- 
General referred not at all to the Holy Alliance and the oaths 
of the Powers to punish and despoil Turkey, but declared 
the harbouring of pirates in the Turkish islands to be the 
cause of the gathering of the fleets of Venice and her allies. 
The barbarous corsairs, encouraged by the asylums offered 
them, had become insulting, hostile and insufferably dangerous 
to the persons and goods of Venetian subjects, and thereby 
the anger of the Lord God had been justly provoked. It was 
the intention, therefore, of the serene and glorious Prince of 
Venice to pour out on Bichir Aga and his- islanders the first 
shots of his indignation, and even to deal the most terrific 
blows which would result in the irremediable desolation of 
the whole fortress. Before carrying out this intention, it was 
desired with a clemency not deserved by those addressed* to 
g^ve warning that if at the end of that day they had not 
resolved to yield the fortress into the hands of the Venetian 
Generalissimo, there wotild be no further time given, but with 
every sort of aggravation their city would be put to the 
flames, and so reduced that not one stone would be left upon 
another, and no pardon given either to sex or age, but with 


the sacrifice of the lives of their families and of all their goods, 
they would have to pay the penalty of their barbarous ill- 

The Tutk repUed to the "respected and honoured 
among the nations," the Captain-General, that his letter 
had been received and its contents understood. There was 
this to be said for the ships of the Levant, they were of use in 
business as was well known, and would be of more use, but that 
they had been driven forth from Turkish retreats . The Emperor 
of the Turks had forbidden the possession of galleys to his sub- 
jects. Thinking that Morosini was in friendship with the most 
high Emperor, he, Bichir Aga, had been neighbourly with him 
till this day, but now that he sought an occasion of strife, it 
was pleasing to God that they who opposed themselves to 
those who served Him, should be answered with counter-thrusts. 

The story of Morosini's conquest of the Morea is a breathless 
tale of activity, judgment and daring, culminating in his 
election to the ducal throne while stUl at war with the Turks 
in Greek waters . Four years passed from the time Marc Antonio 
Giustinian was chosen Doge in order that Francesco Morosini 
might go forth as Captain-General to fight the battles of 
Venice abroad, to the time when, with his army invalided by 
the plague at Porto Porro in Cephalonia, he received the news 
of his own accession as 127th Doge of Venice, and 4th Doge 
of the family of Morosini. Never had the supreme ofiice been 
conferred on any citizen of the Republic with more perfect 
acclamation, and it was resolved in the Great Council that no 
expense should be spared in celebrating his accession. At the 
same time, it was intimated to him that he need not at once 
return to the capital for his coronation. That could take 
place later at a convenient opportunity. He had accom- 
plished great things, and greater were expected of him, but 
it was a curious fact that few successes attended his arms after 
he had once worn the improvised Berrettone, made in imitation 
of the ancient Corno. 

It was a quaint sight, and one of an admirable significance, 
to behold His Serenity in a mantle of crimson with a cape of 
rich cloth of gold, seated high on the poop of his flagship with 
banners and streamers in the wind above him, and galleys and 


barks, crowded with soldier-citizens, disposed in lines around 
his vessel of state. In his left hand Morosini held his baton 
of command, and while cannons were fired and muskets 
discharged voUeys of salute, the great officers of his fleet, 
approaching one by one, bowed low to kiss the hem of his 
mantle. Last in this procession came the Proveditor of 
the Field, Daniel Delfino, with General Konigsmark, the 
Swedish Captain, who with his regiment of Norsemen was a 
strong arm employed by Venice for the campaign. These two 
high ones having taken seats on either hand the throne. Doge 
Morosini rose and expressed with " most dignified and high 
conceits " the consolation he found in their humble respects, 
and the great fervour he nourished of sacrificing himself for 
their glory. He was certain he would content them and make 
capital of his own valour, of which he had given proof in many 
experiences. He added that by the present distinguishing of his 
merit, he would remain always remunerated and aggrandized. 
Mass was then sung beneath a canopy erected on the deck, 
and for this His Serenity knelt on two large cushions of velvet, 
richly trimmed with gold. 

For three days the army was given over to festivity. At 
the expense of the Doge, copious draughts of wine were served 
to every soldier and sailor, no matter of what rank or nationality, 
and each night the fleet was illuminated and fireworks let off, 
while cannons boomed out salutes, and muskets rattled 
feux de joie. Wonderful indeed was the succession of courts 
held by Morosini, to which high officers from other Levantine 
stations hurried to kiss the ducal mantle and pay their respects 
to the hero-Doge. Even there in an island harbour, far from 
any capital city, the Venetians 'contrived to have the 
Emblematic displays they so greatly loved. Resourceful 
minds and deft fingers responded to the strong artistic instinct 
of these seasoned mariners and fierce fighters, with the result 
that on successive evenings there appeared upon the waters 
of the port, great " machines " towed by many barks, repre- 
senting, variously. Verdant Gardens with a high Pyramid in 
the midst, a gigantic Lion tearing in pieces a Crescent Moon, 
and a Fortress surrounding a Mosque, with figures about it in 
attitudes of defence. These were the set-pieces of the grand 


firework displays, and, needless to say, the Pyramid and the 
Mosque were both set alight and gi'adually destroyed with an 
infinite discharge of rockets, while the Lion of St. Mark, after 
utterly demolishing the Moon of Turkey, himself went off in a 
blaze of glory marvellous to behold. 

The fetes of Morosini's enthronization over, both Doge 
and army returned to hard work again, but from that time 
forward Morosini no longer dined with his officers, and he 
signed himself always, II Doge Capitan-Generale. 

The high title seems, however, to have brought no power 
to his arm. He was still the same Francesco Morosini, the 
man of great designs and indomitable courage, but he was 
falling into a mortal malady and had much to contend with in 
the constant outbreaks of disease among the troops in general, 
and in the inefficiency and cowardice of many of his mercenaries. 
No charge of shortcoming or lack of courage can, however, 
be brought against the Swedish contingent, so long as it was 
led by their valiant Captain Konigsmark. But when his 
death capped the other disasters of the siege of Negropont, 
even the Norsemen quailed before the tasks laid on them. 
It was in the re-conquest of either Negropont or Candia, 
if not both, that Morosini had intended, as he said in his first 
speech from his ship-board throne, to employ " the capital of his 
valour." It had been decided at the Council of War held 
immediately after the fetes at Porto Porro, to attack Negro- 
pont in preference to Candia, which was known to have been 
put into a strong condition of defence. But Negropont had 
also been refortified, and all the determination of the Doge 
and all his daring engineering devices of building great towers 
from which to assault the walls were of little avail. The 
Turk held out, and Morosini could only play the prince, in 
sending messages of consolation to the despairing widow 
of Konigsmark, who had accompanied her husband to the 
south, and to whom two years before, at Navarino, the Captain' 
General had sent complimentary gifts of sweetmeats. On 
that happier occasion, Carlotta Konigsmark had been on board 
the warship Jacob's Ladder, which had subsequently borne her 
husband and herself to Modone. Now it was the ducal task to 
put at her service another vessel to take the remains of her 


beloved, herself and her children to Venice, whence, in accord- 
ance with the instructions of the warrior's will, his body was to 
be conveyed to Haga for burial with his ancestors. 

We are told that the kind solicitation of the Doge gave 
much consolation to the sad widow, and indeed Morosini's 
instinct for the art of courtesy was true. For the ceremony of 
interring her husband's viscera, which had been separated 
from his body by the embalmer, Carlotta Konigsmark provided 
a great quantity of candles, and to these were added some from 
the Doge and his Capi di Mare. But Morosini did not allow 
the courtesy of the prince or the sympathy of the man to 
hinder his duty as Generalissimo of the Venetian Forces, and 
he gave the order for the omission of the usual volley-firing 
over the grave, in order that the loss of the first Captain in his 
army might be kept from the enemy, whose courage would 
undoubtedly have been renewed by knowledge of it, and who 
might have sent out vessels to intercept the passage of the 
funeral cortege through the iEgean Sea. 

In the month following that in which Konigsmark was 
laid low, Morosini himself was stricken by illness. Though 
advised to retire from the field of action, he stuck to his post 
and was soon busy again, establishing forms of government for 
conquered places, fixing prices of comestibles and generally 
preparing to extend his campaign. But again he was attacked 
by iUness, and this time he did not rally. The perennial 
youthfulness of his body and spirit had begun to faU. Yet 
he did not give in until a third attack of feverish symptoms 
and other His came on him, when at last he relinquished the 
command of the army and set his ship's prow towards Venice. 
As convoy of his galley of state, there sailed a number of other 
Venetian vessels (some homebound, others detailed to ports 
on the coast of Dalmatia) and a few foreign galleys that had 
been sent out to his aid. Confined to his bed for the first part 
of the voyage, too Ul to receive official visits at Zante or Corfu, 
and quarantined at Spalatro on account of the plague at that 
port. His Serenity was so far recovered before he reached 
Zara, where Christmas Day was religiously observed, that 
he took daily exercise for the preservation of his strength. 
On a particular occasion when the vessel was stormbound 


and it was impossible to exercise on the open deck, physical 
feats were performed by Morosini and his officers in the 
cabinet of study adjoining the saloon, and were so long continued 
that the floor of the apartment gave way, and all within it were 
precipitated on to the deck below; but all, including the 
aged Doge, escaped miraculously unhurt. 

From Zara the Doge passed to Rovigno and on to Parenza, 
whete it was customary to pick up pilots for the Gulf, and 
whence a felucca was dispatched to announce the approach 
of His Serenity and to arrange the date of his solemn progress 
to St. Mark. At Parenza, on the 4th January 1690, Morosini 
received from the recently elevated Pope, Alexander viii, 
a sword and cap of maintenance, which was a present identical 
with that sent by Innocent xi to the King of Poland. In a 
letter accompanying these gifts it was commanded that the 
Papal Nuncio to Venice should set the cap on the Doge's head, 
and place the sword, unsheathed, in his hand, thus proclaiming 
him the First Warrior of the World in the Christian service. 

To teU of the pompous reception given to him in Venice, 
of the order in which the flotillas of war, trade and pleasure 
sailed out to meet him, of the religious ceremonies, ambassa- 
dorial greetings and popular rejoicings, would only be to relate 
again a tale of celebrations such as the Venetians ever made 
for the victorious entries of their heroes and the public honour- 
ing of their Doges. The failures of the last year of his cam- 
paign in the Morea were all forgotten. They were but the 
fortunes of a war, glorious in its beginning and to be glorious in 
the end. The Doge Morosini stood before them in the flesh 
where his bust in bronze had for two years memoralized him 
Hving — a distinction few Doges received even after death. 

It was a comment when Morosini walked to his coronation 
in San Marco with his staff in his hand, that he carried a symbol 
of a rule too autocratic to be extended over a free people. 
They were not yet all dead or all converted, who had com- 
plained of his illegal assumption of sovereign power in Candia. 
In general, however, it was well Uked that the hero-Doge was a 
person of imperial mind ; one who knew how to rule as well as 
how to reign. The conqueror who had regained for Venice, 
between the years 1684 and 1688, Santa Maura, Corone, Cala- 


mata, Navarino, Modone, NapoliinRoumania, Patrassa, Sparta 
and Athens, was as great a favourite after he had failed to 
annex Negropont as when he had just won the first series of 
brilliant victories for which the title of Peloponnesiaco was be- 
stowed on him, and his brother and his brother's son created 
hereditary knights. How great a favourite of the people 
Morosini had then become, was to be gauged by the popular 
determination in the following year to have him for their Doge. 
On the portals of St. Mark and the walls of the Ducal Palace 
there was written many times, " We want the Peloponnesan " ; 
and a placard was hung in the Piazza bearing the words : 
" The Peloponnesan has given us a kingdom, let us give him a 

AU the greatness of Morosini did not lie in his prowess as a 
soldier, in his sagacity as a statesman, nor in his bearing as 
a Prince. He had taste for science, learning and art, and 
was, for his time, an advanced sanitarian, as is evidenced by 
his strict regulations for the segregation of cases of cholera and 
fever occurring in his army, and for the thorough washing 
of the clothing and sheets of those of his troops suffering from 
contagious maladies. That the gaUey-slaves to whom was 
assigned the laundry work for the disease-stricken, could not 
be preserved from terrible decimation, was not the fault of 
Morosini, but of the imperfect science of a time in which disin- 
fectants and antiseptics were undreamed of. 

Reading his story as it has been most fully related to us, we 
find the passion of his greatness and the pathos of his destiny 
specially revealed on two occasions. To take the last first, it 
was in Athens, when the Captain-General entered to find many 
of the noblest monuments of the city's antique splendour 
wantonly destroyed, and, in particular — ^whether by intention 
or accident — the Parthenon rudely shattered and deprived of 
interior grace, that he exclaimed with who shall say how much 
regret ? — " O Athens ! O nursery of the arts ! to what hast 
thou come ? " He could not leave for future depredations of 
the barbarous Turk all the treasures of beauty he found there, 
so he ordered the packing of many statues for transport to 
Venice. Unfortunately, the blunders of the unskilful cause 
injury as great as the spites of the vicious, and most of the 


priceless mementos of his occupation of Athens were broken 
as they were being shipped. The colossal lions which guard 
to this day the entrance to the Arsenal in Venice, were, how- 
ever, brought in safety from the city of classic wonder. 

And how could Morosini, or any patriot-Doge, have dis- 
played more bravely the greatness of his zeal for his country's 
welfare and of his own fine spirit as a man, than when, at an 
advanced age and afflicted with pain and illness brought on by 
the fret of years and of prolonged sojourns with his armies in 
unhealthy places, he declared himself ready for his country's 
sake to go again to the Morea as Captain-General of the Forces ? 
No wonder that, for the first and only time in history, a Doge 
raised his biretta and, standing bare-headed in the Senate, 
thanked the electors for the honour they had deigned to pay 
him. It was no desire for fame, no anxiety to make show 
of a superior ability, that moved Morosini at that hour to 
respond to the Senate's call. The greatness of the man was 
shown in his simple sense of those prerogatives which cen- 
turies of corrections of the ducal promises had yielded to the 
Doge of Venice, and which were to have many duties and few 
rights, to be pledged to an abnegation and an impartiality 
superhuman, to count his life as belonging to a commonwealth 
he could never refuse to serve, although it could at any 
moment deprive him of the office to which he had been ele- 
vated ; nominally for life, actually for the period of his good 
behaviour and his satisfactory discharge of his various offices. 

" Old and infirm as I am, I will do your bidding, and I thank 
you for fixing my doom," must have been, in effect, the words 
in Morosini's mind if they did not all issue from his mouth, as 
he stood, biretta in hand, to accept the fresh charge of the 
Republic. He knew if he went to the Morea he could never 

Two Savii of military affairs were appointed to act with 
him in the command. The prestige of his name and fame was 
to be given to the expedition, but now that he set forth a 
Doge, he had to be prevented from making himself a tyrant- 
founder of a dynasty, by as many restrictions as could possibly 
be laid upon his autonomy and power. 

Walking between the Papal Nuncio and the French Am- 


bassador, Morosini attended in state a solemn service of bene- 
diction on the day that he took ship in the Bucintoro for a passage 
to the Lido where his galley lay. Arches of triumph, with 
banners over all, marked the way of the Doge from the basilica 
to the riva and on again across the Lido to the sea. 

Viva il principe e capitano ! the people cried on every 
side. The crowned Head of the Republic could make no 
reply. He could only do his duty. Malvasia had been taken 
from the Turks by Morosini's first successor in the Peloponnesus. 
For Malvasia, the Captain-General now sailed. Thence he 
hastened to the defence of Corinth, but the advanced season 
prevented his gaining any definite advantage, and he died in 
Nauplia, where he had gone into winter quarters, on 9th 
January 1694. 

The memorials of this last of the Venetian hero-Doges are 
various. The Palazzo Morosini holds many relics to be viewed 
by sight-seers, and his fame in story is of a kind to endure even 
longer than the bronze of the bust in the Sala dello Scrutinio. 
Yet he failed to consolidate the possessions he gained for his 
country. It was not, perhaps, to be expected of his genius 
that he could confer a constitution on the colonies of Venice 
or make laws to hold them fast to an Empress-city, itself in the 
early processes of disintegration. The mistake of his rules 
for the conquered provinces of the Morea, was that he made 
Venice too dominant, not to say too domineering. He forgot 
the once-established custom of Venetian conquerors to allow 
to subject-nations their own laws and trading customs, pro- 
vided these did not actually infringe the liberties and rights 
of the Queen of the Adriatic. The imperious toU demanded 
on aU supplies and merchandise sent to Venice, drove the trade 
of Greece back to the Turks, and thus divided Christian sub- 
jects from a Christian government and made the barbarous 
Mussulman seem, in some respects, a nearer friend to the 
Levant trader than the educated Venetian, with his haughty 
insistence on the infallibility of his governmental systems and 
his right to heavy duties. 


A.D. 1694 TO 1779 

IT was significant of the character of the century to follow, 
that the Doge who reigned during the six last years of 
the seventeenth century owed his celebrity to the fact 
of the sumptuous " coronation" of his Dogaressa. Morosini 
had come to the throne a bachelor, and the successes of his 
rule, as of his preceding command of the navies, had brought 
such exultation to Venice that the people once more felt 
themselves inheritors pf a royal destiny. They were disposed 
therefore to flourish anew every emblem of their sovereignty. 

It was assumed that the provision of loth January 1645, 
forbidding coronation fetes and processions to future Dogaresse, 
on account of the great expense of them to the guilds and the 
populace was truly formulated, as was stated in the preamble 
of the Act, because of the depression of the time. So Venice 
being jubilant again, it was deemed no infringement of 
the law to crown, with all rejoicings and display, the very 
popular wife of the very popular and wealthy Doge Silvestro 

Further victories had been won in the Morea by Morosini's 

successor as Captain-General, Alessandro Molini, and there 

was confidence throughout the Dogado that Venice retained 

her place as a great world-power, and would long hold her 

Empire in the East. Venetians could not see that the glories 

of Morosini's heroism were the sunset-flames of a day drawing 

to its close. The sun of their country's greatness sank when 

Morosini laid his bdton down. There remained, however, a 

brilliant aftermath, which those who stood in the light of it, 

took, at first, to be the dawning of another day. 



With this light shining on her, Elisabetta Valier, in a robe of 
cloth of gold and sable, with the long white veil which to the 
end of the independence of Venice continued to be the sign 
of the dignity of a Dogaressa, falling from her jewelled corno, 
and the state cross of diamonds pendent from a necklace 
round her throat, passed from the Church of St. Mark to the 
throne in the Grand Council Chamber, surrounded by her 
ladies. Seated high, she received the Privy Councillors, the 
Procurators, the Savii, the Secretaries of the Senate, Avogadori 
of the Commune, Heads of the Ten and other officers ; while 
a few days later, again clothed regally, she accepted, by 
special permission of the Government, the compliments of 
the Ambassadors. Separate courts were held by her for the 
new Ambassador from Spain and the Legate Extraordinary of 
the Pope. Visits of ceremony from many home dignitaries, 
as well as from foreign representatives, were also paid to this 
Dogaressa on recurring anniversaries of her birthday. 

Princely respects of all kinds seem, indeed, to have been 
allowed to her without grudging of their expense or suspicion 
of their abuse. The special oselle struck for her coronation, dis- 
played her portrait with the legend : " Elisabeth Quirina Valeria 
Ducissa Venetiarum, 1694." Busts of her are still to be seen in 
the Museo Civico, and the most pompous monument of all the 
assertive memorials of Doges and Dogaresse in the Church 
of 55. Giovanni e Paolo, is that which encloses the remains of 
Doge Bertruccio Valier (1658), and of Doge Silvestro, his son, 
with the Dogaressa EUsabetta. For the erection of this huge 
memorial, with its rich baroque work in marble, its sculptures 
by followers of Bernini and the statues of the three com- 
memorated ones prominent in the midst, Doge Silvestro left 
50,000 ducats in his will, expressing his wish that the design 
should be sculptured in accordance with the prudence of his 
most serene consort. The tomb as a whole has been called 
" a delirium of art." We need not take it as necessarily 
representative of the taste of Elisabetta Valier, since the 
prudence her spouse confided in was doubtless more pecuniary 
than artistic. It is, however, significant of its age — an age 
of flaunting vulgarity and unabashed self-assertion. 

The portraits of SUvestro Valier's Dogaressa show her to 


have been a handsome woman, although, at the time of her 
coronation, threads of silver already paled the bright gold of 
her hair, and her cheeks had lost the roses of youth. Com- 
posure and serenity were attributes of her beauty that marked 
her worthy of her elevation. The subject of much of the 
bombastic eulogy practised in her day and place, she revealed 
herself in letters of hers that are preserved, a woman of 
simplicity, albeit of culture and dignity. In the dedication 
of certain dissertations on a fire that broke out in the Con- 
servatorio of the Hospital at Venice, to Sue Serenitd EUsabetta 
Querini Valier, dogaressa di Venezia e governatrice del Pio Con- 
servatorio, the writer (Francesco Caro) stated that her grand 
Corno had been, for many of the miserable of her time, a most 
rich Cornucopia ! From this we may judge that she patron- 
ized the hospital and was charitable to the poor. 

But not in these respects may we regard her pre-eminence 
as significant of the quality of the eighteenth century. It is 
simply the fact of her exaltation as a woman, that shows a time 
at hand when feminine influence was to be strong in Venice. 
Unfortunately, the women who most dominated Venetian 
society in the reigns to follow that of Silvestro Valier, did not 
resemble his Dogaressa. It was an age of levity that was 
to be born. The revolutionary wave of learning, enlighten- 
ment and the passion for freedom that was to roll over 
Europe, and produce, quite abundantly in other countries, blue- 
stockings, muses, femmes philosophes and saints of philanthropy 
and reform, left upon the lagoon shores the froth of its fructify- 
ing waters. In Venice in the eighteenth century, society was 
stagnant, and manners were distorted by the fantastic notions 
and self-indulgent foibles of an aristocracy that had become 

Yet there were still in Venice loyal citizens who worked for 
their country's defence, and believed the Republic's survival as 
a world-power to be destined. There were nobles who lived 
nobly, and diplomats, soldiers and politicians who rendered 
faithful service to the State. But for all the activity and 
worth of some, the actions of the generality were as the post- 
ures and grimaces of mimes of their own past greatness. They 
still preserved their antique way ; their grace of movement. 


grandeur of bearing and pride of utterance. But Venice had 
become decrepit in heart and intellect. Her governmental 
forms were fixed. Expansion was no longer possible to her 
political coiistitution. Development along any lines of progress 
had ceased. 

There was a prognostication of the insignificance of the 
men called to carry on the ducal tradition in this last of the 
centuries to see any Doges at all in Venice, in the character of 
the one — Alvise Mocenigo — who ascended the throne in the 
year 1700. Throughout the history of his nine years' reign 
his name is hardly mentioned. He was likely enough a 
respectable official, but that was all. The same may be said 
of Giovanni Cornaro, who presided over the fetes attending 
the visit of the King of Denmark and Norway in February 
1709. It was the end of a winter of great severity, when 
canals and lagoons were frozen hard, and men could walk as 
far as Mestre on the ice. Three cannon with appropriate 
inscriptions were cast at the Arsenal, under the eyes of the 
King, and subsequently presented to His Majesty by the Doge. 

At the time that this particular exchange of compliments 
between Norway and Venice took place, much fighting 
and arming were going on between other and greater 
European powers. English Marlborough had already won 
his immortal name. Malplaquet was fought only a few 
months later, and Venice, to her honour, tried to prevent 
the invasions of Italian territory by Austria, France and 
Spain, by drawing together in closer union all the Princes of 
the peninsula. The chief of these were the Pope and the 
Duke of Savoy and Sardinia — Vittorio Amadeo. 

To Utrecht, where the representatives of France, Spain, 
England and Holland met for the restoration of amity in 
1712, there was sent as plenipotentiary for Venice Carlo 
RuzziNi, a seasoned diplomat, who had previously repre- 
sented his country at the signing at Carlovitz in 1699, of the 
Peace that was intended to settle all differences between 
Venice and Turkey. Ruzzini and the representatives of the 
united dukedom of Savoy and Sardinia, were the only Italians 
admitted to the Conference at Utrecht, although all the States 
of Italy had sent delegates to the Dntch town. 


From the day of his arrival, Carlo Ruzzini was most 
honourably treated, and ambassadors and ministers of other 
powers were courteously forward in telling him that they 
looked upon Venice as the chief protectress of Italy at that 
juncture — a time in which Austria was greatly extending her 
territories. This character for his country was satisfactory 
to Ruzzini, who had been charged by his Government to seek 
an indemnity for the damages suffered by Venice in the recent 
wars (when at least one German army had entered her terri- 
tory), and to keep in view the general interests of Italy. 

Of the intelligence of Ruzzini there can be no doubt, but 
he lacked the force to press his views and seize his advantages. 
With argument he. was always ready enough, and he did 
not fail to perceive the true intentions and opinions of those 
he conversed with. His long talks with Lord Strafford and 
the Bishop of Bristol, as with the plenipotentiary of Louis xrv, 
the ministers of other Italian states and the ambassadors of 
the Duke of Savoy, resulted in shrewd comments on the 
attitudes of each. Of Lord Strafford, who assured him that 
England had not spent such vast sums on the recent war in 
order that it should terminate in either France or Austria 
obtaining a preponderant power, Ruzzini wrote, " All the 
same the good intentions he displays in words do not appear 
in effects. The work of peace in that quarter will have to be 
advanced by more arduous stages and for other and greater 
interests. His impatience for peace is not active enough 
for it to be joined with solicitude for its conclusion," 

Ruzzini seems, however, to have been slighty reassured of 
the good faith of England by the Bishop of Bristol, who told 
him that Queen Anne found it necessary to procure the balance 
against the Imperial power, and gave him to understand 
that Her Majesty would enter into any measure that could 
assure the liberty of Italy. For all these declarations of 
favour, no definite pledges— either privately or at the Con- 
gress — were given by " perfidious Albion," and although the 
Abb6 de Polignac, on behalf of France, said that notwith- 
standing his master had little cause to be pleased with the 
princes of Italy, he would continue to protect them, Ruzzini 
saw very clearly that the French design for both Savoy and 


Venice was simply to make them buffers of neutrality be- 
tween the two greater dominions, and that France was no friend 
of a positive alliance of the princes of Italy. Yet it was the 
smaller principalities of the peninsula itself that Ruzzini 
found least tractable. Savoy was effusive in professions of a 
desire for a more intimate union with Venice in particular 
and all Italy in general, but the lesser States were far from 
being agreed upon the desirabiUty of keeping Austria out of 
Italy. They all approved the idea, but expressed fears lest 
the expulsion of the Emperor should leave a way open for the 
preponderance of the influence of Vittorio Amadeo. In the 
end the Treaty of Utrecht was signed on the nth of April 
1713 by France, England, Holland, Portugal, Prussia and 
Savoy. Later on Spain also joined in. There were some 
redistributions of territory made, some compensations for loss 
allowed, some acquisitions — such as England's of Gibraltar 
and Majorca confirmed, but Venice gained nothing definite ; 
not even an indemnity for damage. The presence of Ruzzini 
at the board of deliberation did, however, maintain the re- 
putation of Venice as a force in Italy. 

In the eighteen years that passed between the signing 
of the Treaty and the election of Carlo Ruzzini to be Doge, 
little happened to Venice but disaster. In December 1714 
the Turks again declared war on account of a Venetian seizure 
of a Turkish treasure-ship, and because of a quarrel the Otto- 
man Government had with Montenegro concerning a refugee 
whom the commandant at Cattaro refused to give up. In 
the conflict that followed, nearly all the conquests of Morosini 
were lost, one by one. Corfu had been taken too, but 
for a timely victory of the Austrians at Petervaradino, which 
compelled the Turks to raise the siege of the Venetian Island, 
the heroic defence of which had already cost the Ottoman 
attacking force heavy losses of men. But the spoils of the 
war were more to the Turk, so far as Venice was concerned, 
and what she did keep was gained rather because of a bargain 
to help Austria in Italy, should the Imperial territory or 
forces there be attacked by Spain or the smaller Italian 
princes. Yet it was only at the instance of the Turks that 
Austria consented to admit Venice to the conferences for 


the negotiation of peace. These conferences between Prince 
Eugene, the Cavaliere Pietro Grimani (then Ambassador 
and thereafter to be Doge of Venice) and Carlo Ruzzini, again 
plenipotentiary, were held in Vienna, but the final Congress 
sat at Passarowitz, and thither went Ruzzini to demand the 
restitution of the ports in Crete that had been left to Venice 
after the evacuation of Candia and the Morea, or, in place 
of the return of these Grecian possessions, the enlargement 
of the Venetian territory in Albania to the shores (in- 
cluding the town) of the Lake of Scutari. The Turks, on 
their part, asked for all of Moldavia and Wallachia, with 
other place thereabouts. At a meeting of the Congress, on 
the i6th of July 1718, Ruzzini pleaded and argued on behalf 
of the Republic for full six hours, but he could not recover all 
that had been lost, and had to content himself with some 
trading concessions and the conservation of certain castles in 
Dalmatia, Albania and Herzegovina, with land about each 
of four miles circumference. The Island of Cerigo and some 
other ports were held ; but in exchange for these places, 
Turkish communications with Ragusa had to be allowed and 
various other positions yielded. Ruzzini could demand and 
resison, but he could neither overawe opponents nor perform 
dexterous tricks of management. 

Just a year before the accession of Ruzzini, another Doge 
of the MocENiGO family (Alvise Sebastiano) came to the 
throne, and, in spite of the legal enactments made after the 
decease of Doge Silvestro Valier, to prevent another Dogaressa 
being crowned or treated with the reverence accorded to his 
Elisabetta, there was rendered to Pisana (Comer) Mocenigo 
as much honour as could be given, short of the supreme compli- 
ment of coronation. She was conducted with all the ancient 
ceremonies along the Grand Canal to the Piazza, and she wore 
on the day of her installation a mantle of cloth of gold, with a 
stomacher of brilliants and other j ewels . Indeed, upon the state 
robes of both the Doge and Dogaressa Mocenigo, a very large 
sum (over 50,000 lire for the Doge alone) was expended. But 
dress and splendour were far from being the only characteristics 
of this ducal pair. On the contrary, they were both persons 
of frugal habit and fond of country life, who saved in the 


country when living privately, the money needed to make 
their public life in the city worthy of the claims on it. This 
Dogaressa, more even than Elisabetta Valier, was of a character 
and learning equal to that of the most reputable and most 
distinguished of all the wonderful women of the eighteenth 
century. According to the translator of a work on " Feminine 
Character, Manners and Mind," by a member of the French 
Academy, Pisana Mocenigo was a pious and learned matron, 
in whom magnanimity, religion and science were resplendent, 
and who diverted herself with astronomical observations and 
aU brandies of natural history, while her studies in anatomy 
were of such an advanced order that she gained the sincere 
admiration of two of the leading medical anatomists of her age. 

With due allowance for the eulogy of respect for her position, 
the Dogaressa Pisana must have been a truly remarkable woman, 
and an exception to the rule of lightness being the characteristic 
of the Venetian ladies of the eighteenth century, i 

As distinguished among Doges for learning, as Pisana 
Mocenigo was among the wives of Doges, was Pietro Grimani, 
who came to the throne in 1741. Like his predecessor, Carlo 
RuzziNi, Grimani's celebrity was all won before his corona- 
tion. During his eleven years reign tiU his death at the 
age of seventy-five, we find as little trace of his personal in- 
fluence on his government as there was of Ruzzini's during 
his term of office. We know enough of Ruzzini's earlier 
history to understand why his voice was little heard and 
his influence httle felt, once he had mounted the throne. He 
had laboured long for the federation of Italy and the exclusion 
of Austrian influence from the Peninsula. But events came 
about that he was powerless to control, and the conclusion of 
a peace in Italy on condition of the Emperor exercising dominion 
over certain Italian provinces was the chief feature of his 
reign. No wonder if the irony of his fate and that of Italy 
struck him dumb ! 

With Pietro Grimani, however, it was not quite the same. 
He worked in a realm of more permanent form than the purely 
political field of Ruzzini. Yet both failed in the greatness to 
hold Venice back from her doom. The failure of Grimani 
lay in a too wide apprehension. Discoveries in natural 


science were to him of more importance than national 
concerns. So he let the national concerns go by him, so 
far as combating opposition views and advancing schemes of 
his own for the preservation of Venice were concerned. But 
Grimani must ever be honoured as a reformer of study in the 
University of Padua. His statue in marble, with a compli- 
mentary inscription, was erected there in his Ufetime, and 
when, as Ambassador-Extraordinary to Queen Anne, he lived 
in London for a time, he was made a member of the Royal 
Society, and delivered there a discourse on the astronomy of 
Sir Isaac Newton. He had the fmrther reputation of being 
a writer of elegant verses in Italian and English, and of couching 
his dispatches and other official documents in distinguished 
prose. Such a man could not fail to be solicitous for peace. 
How else could the pursuits he most loved be followed ? And 
the quiet he valued, he desired for all mankind. Yet during 
nearly the whole of his reign the war for the succession of 
Maria Theresa to the Austrian throne, waged lustily, and 
armies of the great Powers were constantly encountering 
each other on the domains of Venice. 

The successor of Pietro Grimani, Francesco Loredano, 
was the fifth and last Doge of Venice upon whom a Pope of 
Rome conferred the Golden Rose. The reason of the com- 
pliment was that in Loredano's reign a Venetian prelate (of 
the house of Rezzonico) was elected to the papal chair as 
Clement xiii, and the exultation of the Republic in seeing 
the highest dignity of the Church conferred on one of its own 
citizens was so great as to lead the Senate to withdraw a 
decree passed 'in 1754, which prohibited Venetians from ob- 
taining indulgences, graces and dispensations — " privileges 
prejudicial to the interior discipline prescribed by Holy 
Church " — unless they were procured in ways authorized, 
approved and regularly licensed by the Venetian Government. 

Venice was yielding some of her ancient freedom of control 
from without, and she would not reform herself within. The 
attitude of Marco Foscarini, who was elected 117th Doge in 
1762, was typical of that of the greater number of the Maggiorii, 
who were still the only citizens coimted worthy of any voice 
in the government of their country. It was typical also of 


the mode of thought of Venice generally. As a Procurator of 
St. Mark, Foscarini had argued with the Avogador — Alvise 
Zeno — concerning the proposals of the Conettori appointed by 
the Grand Council in September 1761, to review the regulations 
under which all Councils, but particularly the committee of the 
Ten and the board of the Inquisitors, worked. The number 
of these Correttori had been five in all, and Foscarini himself 
was the leader of the conservative majority of three. Zeno 
headed the opposition minority of two. Each party had 
presented a report to the Grand Council, and it was held by 
the three that to the Council of Ten belonged ample authority 
to make orders and decrees concerning all grave and criminal 
cases affecting the patricians, with the faculty of sending 
minor cases to certain magistrates ; and that to the Council 
of the Ten with their ancient and necessary government of 
three , Heads and the supreme magistrate the Doge, were 
confided the highest care and authority regarding the public 
tranquillity and the full discipline and restraint of the patrician 
order. Only Resolutions of the Great Council, already taken 
or to be carried in the future, could alter the orders or Hmit the 
power of the Ten, and — as it seems to have been understood — 
of the Inquisitors also. 

The minority report was longer and less direct than that 
of the majority, and under an appearance of enlarging the 
powers of the Ten, it considerably curtailed those of the Inquisi- 
tors who might inquire into misdoings of the nobles, even if 
they held offices and dignities, and might arrest them, but must 
immediately present the cases and the culprits to the Council 
of the Ten, by whom their imprisonment or other punishment 
was to be determined. 

When it became known that the five Conettori were not 
agreed on their proposals, the excitement in Venice was great. 
Anxiety hung like a pall over the capital, and the minds of 
the people were darkened and agitated by fears. With the 
grace of his nationality, the French Ambassador remarked 
to the Doge (Loredano) in this crisis, that as in the lagoons 
a thick fog sometimes obscured the beautiful serenity of the 
atmosphere for a little time, he would pray that the false 
vapours would disperse, and that again there would blaze 


in the eyes of Europe the clear rays of the sun resplendent 
in this most happy government. The representative of 
France was far from being a favourite of the ducal court at 
the time, but this compliment won him praise from the Doge 
for his great prudence. 

The day for the reading of the reports to the Doge and his 
Cabinet came at last, and brought with it a surprise for the 
many, in the presentation, ostensibly by the Secretary Marini, 
but in fact through the devices of Zeno's associate in the 
minority report (Troilo Malipiero), of a counter-proposition 
which represented that the Conettori had not understood the 
commission enjoined on them by decree of the Great Council, 
and had arrogated to themselves a power not conferred on them ; 
having done on the one hand too much and on the other 
nothing at aU, and by that means increased the tumult. To 
this counter-proposition was added an amendment that both the 
reports should be withdrawn and ten days allowed for the 
presentation of new ones corresponding to the will and inten- 
tions of the Great Council, and that meanwhile the reports 
and the amendment should all be subjected to the sovereign 
deliberation of that body. 

It was the 17th of January 1762 when at last the reports 
and amendment were read in the Chamber of the Great Council ; 
the amendment being supported by Paolo Renier, and five 
or six others besides Malipiero. As it was obligatory that 
eight days should elapse between the announcement of a 
resolution and its discussion, the amendment was not voted 
on until 24th January, when it was lost by 430 to 127, with 
296 non sinceri votes. The victory was to the Conettori, but 
Foscarini deemed the time of carnival an inconvenient one 
for a discussion so serious as that which had to follow, and 
asked for an adjournment. He should have chosen the lesser 
evil. In the interval between that date and 7th March, 
when at last the great debate took place, the wave of popular 
passion rose high ; citizens, especially those of the terra firma, 
imagined the dangers to the constitution to be greater than 
they were, and foreign traders were hardly persuaded to remain 
in such an unsettled city as was Venice during the intervening 


Zeno was the first to speak, and he put on at once the voice 
and manners of the complete demagogue. " Liberty ! Liberty ! " 
he cried, and railed at the three Correttori who differed from 
him, as if they had been traitors of the deepest dye. Their great 
offence was the introduction of novelty into their proposition. 
They wished, by a new and terrible example, to place the 
honour, the substance, the liberty, the life itself of the patrician 
order beneath the authority of the Tribunal of the Inquisition, 
and to render the whole corp of the nobility slaves of three 
men. If asked to define civil liberty, he wojold say it was that 
state in which men were governed by the strength of the laws and 
the magistracy and not by individual authority and individual 
cupidity. In this might be seen the difference between a 
Kingdom and a Republic. In a Kingdom one alone commands, 
and his will stands in the place of laws, whereas in a Republic 
the command is in the laws which all are called to obey. So 
far as a free State removes itself from the plurality, so near it 
draws to monarchy. To impede this progress the supreme 
power of the Great Council had been instituted, and it had been 
ordered by the Venetian State that its aristocracy should be 
in perpetual transfer from command to subjection. Therefore 
had a limit been put in 1618 to the excessive power of the 
Council of the Ten, but later on abuses had been introduced 
anew and the Grand Council had elected the new Correttori. 
There had been a discrepancy of opinion between the Correttori 
as to the mode in which they should fulfil their honourable 
charge, and whilst the two had devoted themselves only to 
the execution of the laws and to the maintenance in force of 
the maxims of the Republic, the three, on the other hand — 
derogating from the ancient ordinances — had introduced a new 
method of justice for the nobility, and had resorted to the 
authority of men rather than to the power of the laws. The 
issue of this would be greater disorder and more uproar among 
the pubhc. 

Zeno's oration went on in this style for two days. In con- 
clusion, he argued that the proposition of the Two, preserving 
the authority of the Council of the Ten and limiting that assumed 
by the Inquisitors, left intact the ancient form of the Re- 
public ; provided for punishments in proportion to faults ; 


and opened sufficient channels for the defence of innocent 
citizens. In opposition to this, the proposal of the Three 
rendered the Inquisitors independent of the Council of the Ten 
and with supreme power. Without any method it overturned all 
system, and placed in the obscurity and uncertainty of an 
impenetrable rite, the liberty, the goods, the honour and the 
life of all those who had until now tranquilly submitted ! 

No sooner had Zeno sat down, than Foscarini sprang 
upon the rostrum, and by the dignity of his person and the 
eloquence of his language immediately commanded all ears. 
He had followed, so he said, with great attention the arguments 
of his adversary, but as the hour was late and all had need 
of an interval to take breath in, he proposed the adjournment 
of the sitting to the following day, when he reserved the right 
of treating of the matter. So on the morrow the dignified 
and erudite Procurator recited the history of the Council of 
the Ten more precisely and particularly than had Zeno. 
Coming to the legal part, he maintained that not in the 
proposition of the three, but in that of the two, was novelty 
to be found, and these two intended to-day to overturn the 
Tribunal of the Inquisitors, preparatory to the suppression 
of the Ten at a later time ; worshipping under the name 
of liberty, licence and disintegration. The power of the 
Inquisitors was founded on usage confirmed throughout 
centuries and always held in such respect in Venetian legisla- 
tion that to revoke it would be to establish a new peril. 
He then had read a number of laws from which resulted, 
firstly, that there resided in the Council of the Ten ample 
power received from the Great Council to animate and direct 
its actions to the sublime end for which it was instituted ; 
and, secondly, that from that power was derived the faculty 
of delegating matters submitted to it ; a faculty it had exercised 
in all times, and which had been recognized by the Great 
Council as legitimate. The reasons advanced by Zeno against 
the Inquisitors, would prevail equally against the Heads, 
without whom the Council of the Ten would be an inert body, 
lacking hands or feet. Returning to the proposals of the 
Two, he demonstrated the disadvantages and the dangers 
that would arise from distinctions between the nobles them- 


selves and between them and the subjects. It was the equaUty 
of Venetian justice that had always won the affections of the 
populace. Foscarini finished his harangue with an anecdote 
and a rhapsody, " I cannot expunge from memory," said 
he, " that which I read in my youth, of the century we have 
now left behind. There came to Venice a Spanish gentleman, 
on his way to act as Viceroy in Naples, who had been many 
years before at the battle of Lepanto, serving in the 
auxiUary fleet of Spain. It appeared that he had known 
with some intimacy that great man Sebastiano Veniero, who 
was the terror of the Greeks, and whose habit it was in the 
eastern islands to go about attended by a hundred and more 
nobles dependent on his command. Arrived in Naples, the 
Viceroy was asked what object of all that he had seen in our 
city seemed to him the thing most worthy of admiration— 
whether the Church or the Piazza of St. Mark ; the staircase 
or the pictures ; or the fine industry of glass-making or other 
similar rarities. ' None of aU those things struck my imagina- 
tion particularly,' said the Viceroy. ' The unique marvel for 
me was to see Sebastiano Veniero standing in the new pro- 
curatory as a plaintive, and to behold a base Greek who had 
served in the fleet in the wartime, pass before him without 
even raising his cap.' " 

Such was the anecdote. There followed the rhapsody. 
" Oh, blessed city ! Oh, divine laws that prevail to enable 
the exerciser of a nearly sovereign authority in oversea 
government and the signorial representative accustomed to 
the luxury of Courts, not to be spoilt for the moderations of 
civil life ! And these are the moderations in which the nobles 
of our land are held by the laws and the vigilant Tribunal ! " 

From his flight into rhetoric Foscarini returned to succinct 
argument. In the first meetings of the Five, botk Zeno and 
MaJipiero had complained with some exaggeration of the 
defects, the arbitrary methods and the cruel procedures of 
the Ten and the Inquisitors. These impeachments Foscarini 
now answered with the statement that the fear of the abuses 
of the Inquisitors, exaggerated by Zeno, ceased when it was 
considered that their authority extended only for a year, 
and that each of them could be removed with the greatest 


facility at every revision by the Great Council. Moreover, 
they had no control over the exchequer or the military, but 
had to ask for the use of either funds or forces from time to 
time. The office the three Conettori were willing to allow 
them of investigation and reference, would be useless. Both 
prestige and secrecy would be lost. The name of the 
Inquisitors of State was famous in all the Courts of Europe, 
and the reverence they exacted made the Republic securer 
from sudden invasion, it being the general opinion that the 
Tribunal saw all and knew all. Other Republics had not 
survived because of the lack of that force, active and secret, 
that only the mind of Venice had known how to place thus 
opportunely and without fear of danger, in: an angle of its 

When the propositions and the amendment were finally 
voted, the report of the Three was passed by a small majority. 
Though small, it was held to be enough, and the moderate 
triumph of Foscarini within the palace was compensated 
for by the acclamations that greeted him without. The 
people approved the view that the Ten with the Inquisitors 
were true holders of the balances of justice and stout barriers 
against presumptions of the aristocrats and encroachments 
on the public liberty. Before the palace of the Foscarini, 
fireworks were let off and serenades sung. The leaders who 
had upheld him were similarly complimented. But there 
was a rush of the mob to set fire to the houses of Zeno and 
del Renier, which was only stayed in time to prevent damage, 
by the restraining, sudden hand of the very Inquisitors both 
Zeno and del Renier had so harshly stigmatized. 

A year later, Marco Foscarini ascended the throne. His 
Promissione laid upon him the special necessity of being 
vigilant and punctual in the accomplishment of the ducal 
part in public deliberations, and of exercising particular care 
in economic, military and commercial matters, above all 
when they appertained to the Lagoons ; " because," as was 
said in the preamble, " laws however high in themselves will 
languish and become ineffectual if not rendered operative 
by the executory hand." Furthermore, it was provided that 
the Doge was to make his monthly visits to the Arsenal more 



businesslike, and to observe the laws regarding pomp and 
luxury. At eighty-seven years of age, Foscarini could not 
be expected to be particularly sharp in inspection or specially 
active and discerning in military and pecuniary matters. 
He was only a few days over a year on the throne and, as 
was inevitable with Doges of his age, he could not win such 
laurels in the higher office as he had gained in lower ones. 
His fame, however, is not all official. He was an historian 
and a man of learning. From the title of one work alone, a 
lecture in the Academy at Bologna — " On the necessity of 
history for training men for the direction of the Republic," we may 
learn much of his political views and discern something of his 
personal character. As has been shown, he made history 
the basis of all his plans and hopes for Venice. He encouraged 
the Venetians, as a nation, to gaze long and fondly at their 
reflections in the past. Yet so gazing and so admiring, 
Venice fell into deep waters, from which she never emerged 
alive in all her parts. 

Peering first into the past and then into a future 
which he foresaw as calamitous. Doge Marco Foscarini 
said : " This century will he terrible for our children and grand- 
children." Generous-souled and free-handed, he died so much 
in debt that it was with difficulty his widow persuaded his 
clamorous creditors to allow his funeral procession to leave 
the palace. The Shylocks of Venice in this era were not all of 
Jewish blood. The dead body of a Doge had been a better 
security for payment than a pound of ordinary merchant's 

" My poor servants," were the last words in private of 
this Doge of tender heart and good intention. He had probably 
little idea of the extent of his debts, but he knew he left no 
provision for those dependent on him. His wife — Isabella 
Comaro — was doubtless separately dowered. His speeches at 
his coronation, first in the Church of St. Mark, and then from 
the Scala dei Giganti, were his last public utterances of import- 
ance. They are wordy harangues that flow easily, but which 
express little more than the ordinary ducal promises of being 
a father to his people. 

Marco Foscarini's successor, the 4th Alvise Mocenigo to 


become a Doge, was elected on 19th April 1763, and on the 
22nd of the month his Dogaressa made a state entry into the 
palace, with grand attire and retinue, without the corno, but 
having lappets disposed somewhat in the form of a biretta, and 
wearing the long white veil. Fetes and masques were the rule 
of this last reign but two. The governing nobles fiddled and 
the people danced while Venice burned. The attention of the 
populace had to be turned ffom signs of the coming downfall. 
Venice was the city of pleasure pre-eminent. Loyalty to their 
order and devotion to their country as a sovereign state, 
were still the highest virtues in the eyes of the Ten and the 
Inquisitors. There was little inquiry into the private morals 
and manners of citizens. Vice flaunted on the islands and 
gaming lured there the idle of many countries. Venice was 
truly a city of romance, and its waters the pathways of the 
voluptuous. Yet as much as the licentious, the commercial 
spirit hastened on her doom. All countries with merchant 
fleets at sea, paid toll to, rather than took vengeance on the 
pirate-kings of Algeria. Even the government of the United 
States, where " all men " were just about to be " bom free 
and equal," made itself the slave of the Corsairs by pajdng 
them blackmail. But Venice was particularly deferential, 
and certainly got returns for her deference. Stich advantages 
are not lasting. With Tripoli, Tunis and Morocco, more legit- 
imate trading treaties were formed, and business was extended 
in all directions. But these activities were inevitable under the 
general conditions of the age, and too largely the outcome of a 
merely temporizing policy, to aid the salvation of the State. 
Venice did not seek her developments actively. They were forced 
upon her by the changing times. The reign of the 4th Alvise 
Mocenigo has been called a reign of reform. It is true that 
the close corporations of the Arts, which had existed since the 
Roman times, were done away with; that the Jesuits were 
finally expelled from the Dogado ; and that the reform of the 
university of Padua, initiated by Marco Foscarini in 1741, was 
carried out in Mocenigo's time. But then it must be remem- 
bered, other nations had for long allowed free practice of arts 
and industries, and had in consequence attained to a greater 
prosperity than Venice then enjoyed. Other nations, notably 


Spain, had driven out the Jesuits, before their incursion from 
/ Spain to Italy prompted Venice to the decided step. Other 
nations had been reforming their universities, which were to 
increase and develop, while that of Padua, in comparison 
with the growth of others, steadily declined. 



A.D. 1779 TO 1797 

OF Paolo Renier it was written by the nineteenth- 
century biographer of Ludovico Manin (Sarfatti), that 
he assumed the eminent office too late to accomplish 
the miraculous. He was, however, animated by the ancient 
spirit of patriotism, and he did try to redeem men's minds 
from personal and party controversies. 

" A State that governs itself badly, invites foreigners 
to govern it," was a dictum of his there is no gainsajdng. 
He emitted further undeniable truths when he remarked 
that if ever a State had need of concord it was Venice, since 
she had neither possessions, nor a navy, nor allies, and was 
only maintained in the little strength remaining to her, thanks 
to propitious circumstances and to the reputation for prudence 
which the Venetian Government had won. 

It was, however, the actual prudence of the Government — 
hesitating to strike, careful not to give offence, and fearful of in- 
novation — which facilitated the ultimate collapse which Marco 
Foscarini first, and Paolo Renier in his turn, most nervously 
apprehended. It may be said, too, that the very balance 
of Renier's mind, his extraordinary moderation as a Doge, 
and peculiar versatility as a man, as well as other less admir- 
able traits in his character, hastened the downfall he desired 
to provide against. He had not aways been upon the cautious 
side. Senator, censor, privy councillor, Savio of the Council, 
Ambassador at Vienna and Bailiff at Constantinople, were 
some of the offices he had filled with distinction, and so in- 
gratiating had he been at Vienna, having a courtly manner, 



a sound judgment and a worldly soul, that Joseph 11 
desired to have his company when, as Crown Prince, he made 
a state tour of the Austrian provinces. For good reasons the 
Senate objected to their Ambassador ranking d, la suite of eN 
foreign prince, and it is not likely that Renier himself inclined 
to an intimate association with the Austrian Royal House. 
He had decided opinions as to the relative values of monarchical 
and republican methods and manners, and gave his approval 
to ways republican as he understood them. Nevertheless, 
he had a high estimation of his own dignity as Head of the State, 
and on that account was a Doge who constantly cited his own 
aims and accomplishments as those by which his subjects 
should take example. 

His most notable action before coming to the throne had 
been that of supporting the amendment to the propositions of 
the Three and the Two Correttori. He had spoken for five 
hours with an eloquence and feeling that had excited general 
admiration, albeit his vehemence and his unconventional forms 
of expression had been regarded as offences against good taste. 
His contentions had certainly excited much opposition, and 
it had been said that he took the extreme stand in order to 
force the election of himself as a sixth Conettore and to impede 
the correctors from doing anything. But Renier had held 
the view that the elected five had not been authorized to 
make new laws and regulations, only to facilitate a proper 
obedience to old ones, and all his knowledge and wonderful 
facility of utterance had been employed to combat propositions 
which he qualified as useless and mischievous, because the 
remedies they suggested for the evils would have only an 
enervating effect on the ancient system. 

Paolo Renier, with Marco Foscarini and Alvise Zeno, 
had been a rigid opponent of novelty, but his views had 
in them more of the pristine liberality of Venetian ideas 
than had those advanced by either group of the Correttori. 
It was the plan of the Three which he attacked with the 
greater violence. By this plan, so Renier said, there would 
be created a restricted oligarchy destructive of the very 
foundations of their illustrious aristocracy ; liberty would be 
overthrown, and the many subjected to the dominion of the 


few. What was required, was to abandon both the one and 
the other proposition, and without either writings or dis- 
sertations to revive the ancient usage. The only salvation 
was in the mute observation of those most prudent institu- 
tions which had for many years been disregarded and 
neglected. So far so good, but the modern mind loses itself 
in the cross-currents of Venetian republicanism when it 
ponders del Renier's' statements that " the mystery of some 
operations conjoined to the security of justice, has maintained 
till now the health of the body in command, the obedience 
of the subjects and the esteem of strangers, but the utility of 
the effects wiU perish in a flash as soon as the mystery is 
dispelled. The secrets (arcani) of the Government," he con- 
tinued, " resemble that perpetual light which the ancients 
placed in their sepulchres and which burned so long as the 
tombs were closed, but went out as soon as they were opened. 
To obtain the effect, there need not be innovations ; the 
execution of the existing laws will suffice. ..." Then 
lamenting the decadence of the times, Renier burst out with : 
" But in this century what trust can be put in men of 
ambition, subject to every human passion and educated in 
the prejudices of corrupt morals ? What security for public 
liberty can there be among citizens placed at wide distances, 
some of them raised by the favours of fortune into great 
wealth, others plunged into the depths of the most squalid 
and deplorable misery ; in such inequality of rank, habits 
and possessions, how can one, without the ancient laws, 
restrain the ambitions of the powerful, succour those in 
necessity or maintain the Republic in safety ? " 

There was still opportunity, he claimed, to repress the 
violence of those who wished to raise themselves on the ruin 
of Venice, but if it were not taken advantage of, there would 
follow a time, God knew how soon ! when nothing would be 
left to them but to pity themselves uselessly as lost for ever ! 
He wished to speak plainly. It was the duty of the Great 
Council to uncover social sores, invoke the restitution of the 
primitive statutes and restore to the Council of the Ten the 
authority of which it had allowed itself to be despoiled and 
to which the Inquisitors should be only subsidiary. This 


was bold speech, and del Renier showed his consciousness of 
its daring by announcing himself willing to close his political 
career that day. He had chosen to speak frankly in spite 
of the prayers of his friends and of his own love for his son. 
This son who was also charged with the honour of serving 
his country, might be denied, because of his father's harangue, 
all help and adherence of his relatives and friends, but at 
least he would have left to him — as his father had had before 
him — a sacred legacy of love for his country and zeal for 
liberty. Then, after recalling a recent sentence of the Council 
of the Ten from which the whole of the machinery of Govern- 
ment had received such a shock that the members of the 
Great Council had manifested their resentment of the 
Inquisitors' influence in the matter, by refusing to vote, and 
thus rendering null four successive attempts to elect a new 
body, Renier closed with the proposition that the only way to 
remove the cause of dissidence lay in the Great Council being 
above and not under the Inquisitors, who would thereby be 
constrained to proceed with more respect and circumspection. 
This was indeed the speech of a patriot, yet, as we know, 
it was the Three of Marco Foscarini's leading who carried 
the day. The time of Paolo Renier was to come. He was 
then about sixty years old. In the eight years that passed 
before he came to the throne, in 1779, he may have learned 
wisdom ; he certainly became — if he had not been so before 
— adept in guile. All the veniality he complained of at 
sixty, he made use of at sixty-eight. The manipulation of 
the voting processes was still practised and with aggravations 
of the evUs ; for now the votes of poor nobles, called barnabotti, 
of whom Renier had spoken in his early harangue, were to 
be bought at stated prices, and Renier purchased freely of 
these suffrages to gain his election as Doge. In doing this 
he only availed himself of a corrupt custom which could not 
be despised so long as it was not reformed ; but suspicions of 
dishonesty were entertained against him in other respects, 
and if these were grounded, it is permissible to believe that his 
time in Constantinople had been a demoralizing one for him in 
more ways than one. He had the character of being avaricious, 
but the provision of a fund to ensiure his election may have 


tempted him. In any case, it was said that he had known 
how to turn the war between the Turks and Russians to his 
own personal advantage, and that he was generally un- 
scrupulous in procuring his own advance to grandeur. There 
was another thing that happened in Constantinople, which 
cast a shadow on his reputation and made all good folk who 
delight in scandal quite ready to believe bad of him in all 
respects. In Constantinople he met the woman — ballerina 
da corda some called her, others have denied that she was a 
dancer at aU — whom he took, on his return to Venice, for 
his second wife. His first consort, Giustina, of the patrician 
family of Dona, had been the mother of the son of whose 
career Paolo Renier had risked the sacrifice when he ventured 
to speak plainly to the Great Council. 

Margharita Dalmaz may perhaps claim this testimony 
to her power, that it triumphed over the ambition of Paolo 
Renier and excited in him a cupidity that had else been kept 
in check by his better sense and higher aims. But it need 
not be believed that she was a bad woman, in the common 
meaning of the words . On the contrary, aU records of her testify 
to her complete devotion to her lord and to a great dignity of 
manner and a certain perception of the nobility of justice, truth 
and love. The descendants of Paolo Renier preserved for 
some generations a pretty tradition of Margharita's virtue and 
that of her relation to the Doge. They maintained that she 
was not a ballerina, but that as a poor child of Greek parentage 
in a Catholic School visited by the Ambassador in Constanti- 
nople, Renier had been attracted by her, and thinking to 
provide for her future — possibly also to rescue her from the 
probable fate of a Greek girl-orphan in a Turkish country — 
he brought her back with him to Venice and put her into an 
educational establishment there. When the child grew to a 
maiden, it was noticed that she was always melancholy, and 
her protector, thinking she needed change, sent her to Padua. 
Visiting her there one day, to gain a report of her improve- 
ment, he was made aware of her deep love for him. Though 
about sixty-five years old, he was still assai bell'uomo. He 
married Margharita and loved her passionately. Never, 
however, could be obtain the permission he constantly sought, 


to inscribe the marriage in the Libra d'Oro of the family 
alliances of the nobles of Venice. 

That is the tale told by Paolo Renier's own descendants, 
but Molmenti argues that it is neither proved by documents 
nor borne out by contemporary opinion. One would think, 
however, that a family tradition, formed in less time than a 
century, and desqending from children who could not have 
been disposed to defend their low-born stepmother, would be 
at least as believable as the writings of persons in political 
opposition to Renier, or as the chit-chat of the scandal- 
mongers of his day. It is true that the closing of the Libra 
d'Oro to a register of the marriage seems unexplained by 
the family saga, but the Signory was much troubled at the 
time by unworthy marriages of many sprigs of nobility, 
and could not allow an example of mesalliance in their Doge. 
Moreover, Renier had committed the unpardonable offence 
of keeping his marriage secret for a time. 

Dancer or no dancer, the " Dogaressa " (for so she was 
called, although formally the title was withheld and her 
place at public functions always taken by a niece of her husband) 
showed herself seriously appreciative of her new position and, 
in 1786, she won respect for her beauty, nobility and austerity 
of aspect, from no less a student of the natures of men and 
women, than the creator of Faust and Gretchen. 

Seated amid a crowd of spectators gathered to the public 
trial of the Doge and his wife regarding some question of 
^ enfeoffment, Goethe's admiration for the " Dogaressa " of 
noble aspect who was in the place of the arraigned, was only 
surpassed by his wonder at the high-handed ways of the 
Venetians who constrained their " Princess " to appear in her 
own palace for examination by both the judges and the public. 

Whatever the vices of Paolo Renier, and he certainly had 
shortcomings of an unworthy and contradictory kindj he 
retained to the end some RepubUcan virtues and he showed 
himself under the influence of many of the revolutionary 
ideas then coursing from Paris to uttermost parts of the earth. 
The spirit of his age and place — a light, exuberant, matter- 
worshipping and luxury-loving spirit — had also brooded over 
Him. There is very little of St. Mark and of the attitude of 


mind induced by adoration of St. Mark, in his speeches, and 
the osella struck for his coronation did not show him as Doge 
kneeling before a figure of the Patron-Evangelist. It dis- 
played impiously a female figure representing Abundance, 
with two cornucopics emptying on to the earth flowers and ears 
of corn, and the words Bonorum autrix — authoress of all good — 
above. On the reverse of the coin was the inscription, Paulus 
Renierius principis munus, An. I. 1779, which the ingenious 
and the dissective considered a sign of his direct intention of 
making himself an absolute prince. His elevation achieved, 
Renier remained a reformer in intention, but grew more ap- 
preciative of the value of permanent institutions and more 
confident of the power of the ducal example and experience. He 
became, as it were, the Speaker of the Great Council, and gained' 
the post through the common sense of his fitness to be arbitrator 
and adviser in disputes between legislators. Eighteen years had 
passed since he made his great harangue in criticism of the 
proposals of the newly appointed CorreMori, when again the 
Great Council was occupied with the prescription of the extent 
and limits of their functions. The debates concerning the 
methods of their appointment and procedure, that took place 
in Doge Renier's reign, seemed but to take up the arguments 
where the Councillors of the time of Doge Loredano had laid 
them down. There were again three proposals to be con- 
sidered, which were the outcome of the agitations of two 
would-be reformers — Carlo Contarini and Giorgio Pisani — 
who desired to have all regulations concerning food prices, 
and all questions of popular education, the degeneracy of 
the nobles, the overlapping of offices and the state of trade, 
inquired into. Again the Council and Signory had been faced 
by an awkward amendment from a turbulent opposition, 
and in the general embarrassment Renier was appealed to, 
to find a way out from a predicament. Aftet many con- 
ferences in the private room of the Doge, three propositions 
were again issued ; one stood in the ducal name and the 
others were made, respectively, by the Councillors stirred up 
by Contarini, and by the Heads of the Forty. All three 
were submitted to the Great Council. But it was found that 
the suggestion of the Forty, which practically gave a free 

« 2 


hand to the Correttori to make new regulations and overturn 
old ones in nearly all departments of the government during 
their term of of&ce, which was to be sixteen months, was 
hopelessly out of court. It was agreed, therefore, that the Doge 
and the Council should together formulate another proposi- 
tion. This being done, the joint proposition eventually read 
proved to be only a modification of the first proposal of the 
Doge. It recommended that there should be five " Correctors 
of the Capitularies of the Magistrates " who should remain 
in office for one year, with the charges of revising all regula- 
tions concerning foods and the necessaries of life ; of making 
the instructions to all governing bodies clearer, and of in- 
quiring into the duties of the same, with the number of their 
servants and the payment of these, whether by fixed or un- 
certain rates ; of suggesting modes of rendering justice quicker 
and cheaper, and methods of moderating luxury in living in 
all classes, together with a mode and a method of establish- 
ing better discipline and better education of the young, especi- 
ally the youths of the patrician order, to whom the advant- 
ages of religion, good maimers, letters and civil government 
should be assured ; and finally to regulate the disorders 
caused by constant withdrawals from the Forty of individuals 
charged with particular offices of judicature and magistracy. 

To these recommendations, of which the Doge was the 
author of the chief part, the Great Council added charges to 
the Correttori to make a study of their own authority and to 
pass their regulations only concerning the matters indicated, 
and to the Signory to exercise vigilant care that the Correctors 
did not exceed their offices. 

After these propositions were read, it was necessary, in 
accordance with the law, to allow eight days to pass before 
they were put to the vote. Before this could be done, the party 
of the " innovators " demanded that the propositions of the 
Heads of the Forty, which had been brought forward more 
than eight days before, should be put to the vote at once. 
This demand by the advanced party for a vote upon the most 
reactionary proposal of all, was a trick for delaying, if not for 
completely suppressing the voting upon the more liberal 
scheme of the Doge and Councillors which was too conciliatory 


to please the extremists. The majority, very naturally, ob- 
jected to such a trick, and voices all over the Assembly de- 
manded a Resolution of Suspension. Contarini and his 
followers, however, protested that the Doge had no power 
suddenly to propose a Suspension. Whereupon, " to the 
admiration of all," the Doge rose to his feet, with his corno 
in his hand, and the whole Assembly rose likewise. The 
Chief Magistrate then spoke from his Tribunal — 

" We cannot sufficiently demonstrate the internal per- 
turbation of our mind," began del Renier royally ; "we cannot 
sufficiently declare the bitterness to us of these lamentable 
circumstances ; we cannot often enough express our grief and 
surprise in the knowledge of the re-active and perilous conse- 
quences of this situation. . . . You have the finest State in all 
Italy if you only know how to conserve it. . . . Fellow-citizens, 
remember that we are not in a position of defence, in the fatal 
case of an external aggression ; remember also that internal 
discords cause the most sanguinary wars." Thus the Doge 
went on, speaking, as he said, " freely, without reticence and 
without a double aim." What other aim could he have, he 
asked, than that of the common good ? And he prayed those 
before him to calm themselves, and not to desire imaginary 
fortunes, and those innovations which had always been the 
rocks on which the ship of the Republic had split. 

It was a most brilliant and lengthy speech, and kept the 
attention of its hearers riveted to the end. Renier's aim was 
to show that while so many dangers menaced the Republic 
from without, there was supreme need for quick agreement 
within. In the course of his harangue he expressed his detesta- 
tion of the "private unions" and "nocturnal conventicles" 
which " originated so many discords," and declared that the 
impatience of the Signori Capi to bring their Resolution to the 
ballot was (if he might speak freely) the result of an agree- 
ment made outside the place in which it should properly be 
discussed. He concluded his oration with the promise that 
he for his part would be ready for a Resolution in eight days 
time, and that if the intervening Thursday (probably the 
following day), which was the day for the Annual Wedding of 
the Adriatic, proved wet, and the National Ceremony had to 


be postponed for a week, he gave his word that he would con- 
voke the sovereign power (i.e. the Great Council) for the dis- 
cussion of the matter on the earliest possible day thereafter. 
In the meantime let them tranquillize themselves and'' show 
goodwill one to the other, and thus all co-operating by the 
exercise of their individual duties and the practice of the virtues 
and precepts of their glorious progenitors, they would preserve 
their truly divine and, at one time, reputedly immortal Republic. 

The words of the Doge, we read, had a miraculous effect 
upon the Assembly, and the party for the prorogation triumphed. 
When the great day of discussion came at last, again the Doge 
dominated the situation. The hushed expectancy of the 
Coimcillors, as, standing, they watched del Renier ascend 
the throne, was described by a spectator as solemn, imposing 
and worthy of the pencil of a most gifted artist. 

In a speech of impassioned exhortation to the Council 
to seek only the common good, the Doge declared that to 
allow to the Correctors the general powers which the Heads 
of the Forty proposed to invest them with, would be to 
undo the work of the fourteen centuries 1 of the existence 
of the Republic and to open a vast field to vanity, interest 
and ambition. Again he took the opportunity to remind 
the Coimcil of the insecurity of Venice as a state in Europe. 
It was their geographical position, not their force of domina- 
tion, that gave them what security they had. It was their 
duty to safeguard their Doge, who had the good intention 
to regulate the disorders according to the obligation of his 
office. And again del Renier besought aU patriots to love 
one another and aid one another ; to aid the Republic and 
thereby aid thv>mselves ! 

The torrent of applause which greeted his impassioned 
effort, made the passing of his Resolution a foregone conclusion. 

A miserable climax to the day's excitement was the dis- 
covery that Carlo Contarini, the regenerator of his country's 
institutions, had in his hands more voting balls than he was 
entitled to. Stem measures were immediately taken by the 
Council of the Ten to prevent the discussion of politics in the 
cafes and on the piazze of the town. All private political 

> An over-calculation. 


meetings were prohibited. Pisani had for a time a popular 
triumph which Contarini was absolutely debarred frdm. 

On the 8th of March (1780) he had been elected Procurator 
of St. Mark, and his solemn entry into office took place on the 
29th of the month. This was less than three weeks from 
the great triumph of the Doge, and we find him, generous and 
eloquent as ever, exhorting Pisani to employ the great talents 
with which undoubtedly the Lord God had abundantly furnished 
him, in the ever greater adornment and development of the 
Republic. In doing this, the Procurator would deserve well 
of his country, give an efficient example to his sons, and add 
to the renown of his most worthy ancestor Domenico, and all 
his family. 

After the speeches came illuminations and fireworks and a 
splendid entertainment in the palace of the Pisani, with music, 
dancing and serenades. All seemed bright, joyous and promis- 
ing of a happy future. It is true the pictures in the galleries 
and other symbols of reform displayed in Pisani's home and 
stamped on his cards of invitation, caused some amazement 
to his guests. So did the scattered confetti hearing the legend 
in French : — 

'-'- La science, le bon coeur, I'amour patriotique 
Sont ils le fondement de la Republique." 

As a reply to, or perhaps only as a comment on these com- 
placent festivities, some polizzini were scattered by un- 
known hands in the Procurator's saloons. Oggi bordello, 
domani castello ; oggi I'ingresso, domani il processo. Dio ti 
guardi I 

Both castello and processo were not far. 

We cannot doubt that the Doge conctirred in, if he did not 
devise the punishment soon meted out by the Council of the 
Ten and the Inquisitors. Only two days were allowed to 
Pisani to parade his new dignity, and then at four o'clock in 
the afternoon, the Procurator was called away by a guard of 
soldiers, who allowed him just time to say a few words of 
comfort to his wife and then escorted him to a gondola in which 
he was conveyed to Fusina ; thence on to Padua, Vicenza and 
Verona, where he remained for ten years imprisoned in a 


castle. Contarini was banished in another direction. It 
was in the fortress at Cattaro, in Montenegro, that this im- 
patient agitator ended his days, which were not many after 
the time of his failure to defeat the Propositon of Doge Paolo 

Renier died in his seventy-eighth year, so we need not 
wonder at the vigour of his Dogeship in comparison with the 
reigns of so many octogenarian and even nonagenarian pre- 
decessors. He was undoubtedly a man of greater mark than 
many, and had his individual power been less limited, he might 
have saved his country from the days of slavery he saw coming 
to it. The power by which he moved the Council to vote for 
his propositions and to defeat the innovators, was a force that 
was aU his own, but he could not do more than unite parties 
for a time. There was a wider divergence of ideas to come 
and a lesser mind to dominate them. In del Renier's time 
there lived, fought and died the last of the Venetian hero- 
fighters, Alvise Elmo, who gained many battles over the " bar- 
barians " of Tunis and Algeria. He could have done more for 
the authority and repute of Venice had he been given more 
soldiers to strengthen his hands. But it was not now the day 
of great things for Venice. Men's hearts failed them for fear. 
They no longer aspired to conquer ; they were only anxious to 
retain the little Venice which was all that was now left to them. 

And when the Doge Paolo Renier, who in his own place 
and according to his own measures of capacity and under- 
standing served Venice well and made her name respected 
once again in the marts and courts of countries of more ex- 
tended dominion; when this reaUy notable, although some- 
what parsimonious Doge came to die, Venice, forsooth, could 
not stop her maskings, her fetes, her junketings, to mourn her 
Prince — the husband of her Adriatic, the wearer of her sacred 
Corno. The Shrovetide Carnival was allowed to close in all 
the riot and abandon for which Venetian festivals had become 
notorious, before his death, followed by a quiet burial in the 
Church of the Tolentini, was announced. His hallerina- 
wife had been allowed to sell, for her own gain, stands in the 
spaces before the Ponte de la Paglia and the Porta de la Carta 
for booths for the sale of artistic mementos to tourists and 


sightseers. She outlived the Doge, who sacrificed much fame 
for her, full eighteen years, and finishedher days in an apartment 
of the Palazzo Mocenigo at San Grae, a little distance from the 
fine Palazzo Renier, which has since been demolished. A year 
before her death, 1817, when fully eighty years old, but bella 
ancora, she held at the sacred font a son of one Pietro Dolfin. 
It would seem that to the last and on into the French and 
Austrian occupations she was regarded in some sort as an ex- 
Queen. If the ballerina had been misnamed and misjudged, 
she had her revenge at last. In any case, the circumstances of 
the alliance of a low-born Greek girl with a Doge of Venice of 
true fame, exemplify picturesquely a picturesque period of 
Venetian history — a period of decadence, a season of most 
gorgeous decay. 

When, in May 1782, Pope Pius vi came to Venice, on his 
way back to Rome from pajdng a visit of state to the Emperor 
Joseph II at Vienna, he was met by Doge Renier and the Sig- 
nory near San Giorgio in Alga, and accompanied thence in a 
gilded barge to the lodging appointed for him in the monastery 
of SS. Giovanni e Paolo. Pompous receptions, with other 
more popular fetes and ceremonies, celebrated the coming to 
the lagoons of the first Pope since Alexander in gave to 
Doge Ziani the ring for his wedding of the Adriatic. 

Music played ever a chief part in the pageants of eighteenth- 
century Venice, and the singing of a Te Deum by the ducal 
choir, accompanied by a full orchestra, was a notable fea,ture 
of this one. Besides the sacred concert, there was given on a 
grand scale a cantata, II ritorno di Tobia, written by Gaspare 
Gozzi, and composed by the choir-master of San Marco, Pas- 
quale Galuppi. The expenses of this gala performance were 
paid by the Procurator LuDOVico Manin. 

The Pope did not go to hear the cantata. His Holiness 
received visits, but did not make them. The power of the 
Papacy had greatly declined since the time of Alexander in, 
but so also had the prestige of Venice diminished, and neither 
Doge Renier nor Procurator Manin would look to receive from 
Pius VI what the twehth-century Doge had expected as his 
due from Alexander in. Moreover, Pius vi had to assert a 
sovereignty which none ever thought to deny to the earlier 


Pontiff, even though he came to Venice a fugitive from Imperial 

" I hear on all sides praise of the choice of his Imperial 
Majesty, as Archbishop of Milan," wrote Caterina Dolfin Tron, 
only a year after the Pope's return from visiting the Austrian 
Emperor. Her letter went on: " I laugh at the difficulties about the 
Pope ; we are not in an age when the Popes ruled the Emperors ; 
you will see that the Curia will yield to Caesar, and indeed to all 
who, strong in their own rights, know how to maintain them." 

This shrewd prognostication, from the lips of a notable 
" great " and " gay " lady of the time, gives us, in silhouette, a 
picture of the hour. But another Emperor than the Austrian 
Caesar was to make Venice and Doge Manin tremble ; an 
Emperor, who had the same opinion of the Pontiff as had 
Caterina Delfin Tron, and against whose designs it would 
avail Venice nothing, to oppose her friendship with the Roman 

When Napoleon Buonaparte fought with Austria in J796, 
he was only the conquering General of the French Directoire ; 
but he had ready 80,000 men to pour into Venice. 

" I will have no more Inquisitors, I will have no more Senate, 
I will he an Attila to the State of Venice," said the monster-man 
to the Venetian delegates who waited on him at Gratz. This 
second Attila mistook the nature of the first one's making of 
the State of Venice, but those who heard the terrible words 
knew what he meant to do and what he would do. They knew 
it alas ! too late. 

Of what avail a navy when the enemy was at their land- 
gates ? Besides, many of the ships in the Arsenal were un- 
ready for sea, and without crews. The army, long disbanded, 
had not been raised again, because they thought — poor fossils 
of an extinct virility — that, as a disarmed force, their country 
had a better chance of peace than it would have as an armed 
one. But Attila the Second could not pass the eighteenth-cen- 
tury Venetians by, as inconsiderable fugitives on barren lagoon 
islands. He wanted their ports, their Arsenal, their public 
buildings, their stored art-wealth, their trade and municipal 
organizations ; the colonies that still remained to them ; the 
vigour and the repute of them, that yet survived. And they 


were entrenched' only in their political neutrality and their 
geographical position ! The first line of these defences 
Napoleon declared to have been deserted when the " Panta- 
loons " allowed Austria to occupy Peschiera. Upon the 
second, Doge Manin and his Signory were too much alarmed 
even to retire, and it was, of course, an immeasurably weaker 
defence against Buonaparte's artillery than it had been against 
Pepin's arrows and stones. 

When the General of the conquering army sent an adjutant 
to Venice, to deliver a letter enumerating eight heads of dispute 
with the Signory, the Doge rose in respect, both at his coming 
and his departure, and the pourparlers went on until Napoleon 
signed a peace with the Emperor of Austria, after which he 
made no pretence of treating with the Venetians. He com- 
manded and they obeyed. 

It was no disgrace to a Doge of the Venetians to lift, at 
last, his Corno to an Emperor of the French, but it was an 
ignominy that Doge Ludovico Manin should have made no 
bettfer stand against the Adventurer-General of the French 
army ; should have gained no terms and surrendered fearfully ; 
should have quaked and quailed, lamented and wept ; and never 
once called upon his people to resist, much less to defy. The 
Dalmatian troops brought at the eleventh hour to garrison 
the city, might have accomplished much with no more than a 
citizen-army to support them. One speech of patriotism from 
the throne, such as Francesco Foscari or Leonardo Loredano 
had, in their times, delivered ; one appeal such as even a Doge 
of so late a day as Paolo Renier could have made to the 
loyalty and daring of the nobles and the populace ; one word of 
anger and defiance might have turned the day. Venice must 
still have been incorporated in a greater Empire, but she might 
have retained some emblems and volitions of her nationality. 
She could have died nobly ; have perished, mistress of herself. 

But Ludovico Manin, the Friulian, was not a Doge of the 
heroic Venetian mould. He neither fought bloodily nor battled 
wordily for an honourable peace. He was afraid to aggravate 
Napoleon's rage by summoning the Senate, and when the 
Conqueror threatened to reduce his capital by fire and sword, he 
could only lament to the ministers, the Savii and Chief of the 


Ten, who nervously huddled about him, " We cannot be sure 
of sleeping in our beds this night ! " 

Be sure of sleeping in their beds ! Those honourable citizens 
of Venice, those men of an aristocratic race, those hardened 
seamen, those rash voyagers, those enterprising merchants, 
that insouciant, yet audacious, and fiery populace, which had 
made Venice great ! What one among them, had their 
leader been a Doge indeed, would have eared about their beds, 
on that night or on any other night, when the liberties of their 
country, with their national pride and their national honour, had 
been at stake ? Venice had decayed indeed, but she did not 
know the truth as the Doge and his Cabinet knew it. Yet the 
people on the Piazza clamoured for arms and shouted Viva 
San Marco ! to the very end, and there were still men in the navy 
who were not afraid to discharge their shots at French ships 
entering their harbour. There were engineers too who had 
plans for the defence of the islands and the lidi, which would 
have made the lagoon fastnesses all but invulnerable. 

At the last meeting of the Great Council, 12th May 1797, 
Doge Manin committed himself with tears to the divine will and 
moved the resolution to appoint a provisional Government. 
Although only 537 patricians out of an enj oined 600 were present, 
the vote was taken. Twenty voted against the ducal motion. 
" At the moment of going to the vote, some shots were heard, 
which created much timidity," wrote Manin in his diary. He 
further related that no disorder ensued and that after the 
intimations of the Doge, the aristocrats became sufficiently calm 
to proceed with the voting. The ducal " intimations " were 
that the shots heard constituted a parting salute of the 
Dalmatian troops being deported from Venice, as hurriedly 
as they had been brought in. The General Buonaparte had 
ordered their dismissal. These were " pudding times," and 
Ludovico Manin seemed a Doge of pulp. 

There was indeed a curious lack of frame and fibre in the 
man, and one wonders whether he himself were sensible of the 
pathos undoubtedly inherent in a remark he made the same 
evening to his servant. As he retired for the night to the safe 
shelter of a comfortable bed, he took from his head the linen 
cap always worn by the Doges beneath the Corno. " Take 


it away, we shall not need it any more," were his words ; sad 
ones and ignominious, to be spoken by the I20th ruler of 
the ducal line. 

Yet we may not greatly blame Ludovico Manin for his lack 
of the ancient spirit ; his want of the fire and fury of a Galbaio 
or a Gradenigo, of the subtlety and heroic virtues of a Dandolo, 
an Orseolo, or a Morosini. He had not desired the ducal office 
at the time that it was thrust upon him. With his own hand 
it was written : " I had a decided disinclination to this [his 
election as Doge], and my wife, who cherished the same sen- 
timents, wished me to defend myself. I resisted always, 
although with great difftculty, insisting on the principle of age, 
which it appeared was not any longer in force ; on the un- 
suitabUity of an aggregated family making such an ascent; 
objecting that I should be dumb with fright and might bring 
ruin upon my entire family." It is probable that Manin's 
protests were not quite so strong at the time as he afterwards 
imagined them to have been. He felt the need of justifying, 
or at least of excusing, his pusillanimity. Be that as it may, 
there must have been something about the man, in addition to 
his wealth, that made him the choice of his peers. He had not 
the right of age, and the fact that his family had only been 
admitted to the Grand Council in 1651 upon payment of 
100,000 ducats, should have told against him. But, however, 
dumb with fright, and alien from the Venetian confidence 
because of his Friulian descent, Ludovico Manin was un- 
doubtedly a man of virtue and good desires. In his own way, 
he loved Venice dearly. He could mourn and weep for her. 
He could not fight and die for her. His own record of his days 
upon the throne is punctuated liberally with notes of the tears he 
shed. With tears in his eyes, he implored the Forty not to elect 
him. Bathed in tears, he wrote a letter to his brother announcing 
the fact and manner of his election. At lunch with his fellow- 
Councillors on the day of the voting, his agitation was so great 
he had to rise from the table and recline on a couch. There 
were later times, too, of shedding tears. He had a presage of 
the end of his administration. He assumed the Corno already 
all but convinced that he would be the last man to wear it. 

Nevertheless, the_^time-honoured fetes, with most resplen- 


dent processions and religious ceremonies of great dignity, 
celebrated his coronation and made the coming to the palace 
of his Dogaressa jubilant. To this disaffected Princess was 
accorded, when in 1797 — nine years later — she came to die, 
a ceremonious lying in state in St. Mark's, with sixty torches 
and four hundred candles burning about her ducally apparelled 
form. She did not live, as her afflicted husband did, to see 
that day of Pentecost (3rd June 1797) on which the " Tree of 
Liberty " was planted on the Piazza, in the presence of the 
new municipal Government, and of many French and ItaUan 
troops and generals, with a great array of cannon. From 
the Piazza on that day went forth the first French patrols 
that scoured the city, and on that sacred pavement, in the 
midst of all the foreign throng, the conquerors burned the 
ducal insignia, piece by piece — the Mantle, the Robe, the Corno 
and the Biretta yielded on demand by the ex-Doge. They 
burned, too, the Libro d'Oro, and finished the whole ceremony, 
as so many another had been concluded in that place, with the 
singing of the Te Deum in the Church of St. Mark. The ducal 
vicar led the psahn, as Ludovico Manin noted in his diary. 

And where was the ex-Doge? He had been wise in his 
generation. He had prepared for himself a comfortable home, 
to which he went with his two nephews, when the new municipal 
Government was substituted for the old ducal and aristo- 
cratic one. Of this Government, ex-Doge Manin, to his credit, 
refused to take the presidency. He accepted its existence 
only with resignation. By his wiU he left 100,000 ducats 
to that department of the Government which should have 
the administration of pious places. Because of the misery 
of his country, he wished to be buried with the least pomp 

The special ceremonies, which might be thought to be the 
appurtenances of an ex-Doge, were to be omitted, in order that 
the bitterness of their changed fate might not be brought 
too nearly home to the Venetians. To stop vulgar comments, 
and in substitution of expensive trappings and rites of woe, 
clothes were to be given to the poor, and money spent in 
portioning yoimg girls of Venice and of another place where 
Manin had property, for married or conventual life. So did 


the ex-Doge end his days most piously — a mourner still for 
Venice. The concluding paragraph of his last will and testa- 
ment shows him in a religious and a most amiable light : — 

" I recommend with all fervour to my dear nephews to 
respect and honour their worthy mother, and to preserve 
brotherly union. Let them procure that our House continue 
also under the new Government of which by Divine, inscrutable 
dispositions, we have become subjects ; continue, I say, in that 
honest repute which by the grace of the Highest has been 
always sustained by our brothers. Responsive to the Divine 
and human laws, be benevolent according to the means the 
Lord God has given you ; and charge a portion of your 
revenues with the relief of the truly poor. In this way 
behave yourselves worthily of the Divine grace and assistance, 
which ought to be your principal aim, and deserve also the 
approbation and kindliness of sensible men, which is the 
greatest enjoyment that honest persons can or ought to desire 
in this world." 

Had Ludovico Manin not been overweighted by the Doge- 
ship, he might have left an honourable record as an honest 
public servant. Unlike Pauluccio Anafesto, the first Doge of 
Venice, Manin was far from being the man for his hour. Yet 
if there had to come a time when there should be no longer 
Doges of Venice, it was perhaps better that the one to be 
despoiled should have suffered his fate only miserably, and 
not fought against it with the desperation and the determina- 
tion of a proud Prince and reckless patriot. 

With the downfall of Venetian independence fell the Doge 
who, for nearly eleven hundred years, had been the guarantee 
to Venice of her freedom from foreign domination. Now he 
had gone and Venice too. Eleven hundred years is a long, 
long time. 

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Accademia, Venice, 273 

Acre, 69, 70, no 

Adelheid, Empress-Dowager of Ger- 

, many, 37, 40 
Adria, Sea of. See Adriatic 
AdriaJi IV, Pope, 73 
Adriatic, The, called the Gulf of 

Venice, 15, 115 ; the Wedding of 

the, 46, 82, 112, 372, 376 
Aeilbole, or Albiola, 13, 30, 31 
Alexander iii. Pope, in Venice, 81- 

83. 180, 376 
Alexander v. Pope, 201 
Alexander vi. Pope, 238, 276 
Alexander viii. Pope, 342 
Alexandria, The Sultan of, 181 
Alexios, Emperor, brother of the 

Emperor Isaac, 88, 89 
Alexios (2), son of Isaac, 88-90 
Alexis I, Emperor, 59 
Alfonso, King of Sicily, 140 
Altino or Altinum, i, 79, 80 
Alviano, d', General, 243, 244, 247 
America, discovery of, 243 
Anafesto, Pauluccio, first Doge, 2, 

8, 15, 51, 382 
Ancona, war with, 115, 116 
Andrea, King of Hungary, iig 
Andronicus 11, Emperor, 140, 143 
Anne, Queen of England, 350, 354 
Anne of Denmark, Queen Consort of 

England, 292-294 
Antenori, Beato degu, Joint-Doge 

with his brother Obelerio, 8, 9, 

180 ; styled Hypatos, 11 ; and the 

defence of Malamocco, 12-15 ', lus 

fate, 16 
Antenori, Obelerio degli. Doge, 

7-15 ; said to have married a 

daughter of Charlemagne, 7, 8, 34 ; 

styled Spatharios, 11 ; his fate, 

12, 15, 21 
Antenori, Valentino degli, as- 
sociated with his brothers Obelerio 

and Beato as Doge, 11, 12 
Antioch, The Prince of, 73 
ApuUa, The Duke of, 55 
Aquileia, i, 31 ; see and patriarch 

of. 19, 26, 32, 73, 74, 96, 171, 203, 


Archipelago, Duke of the, 175, 192 

Armada, Spanish, 273 

Arsenal, The, Venice, 64, 130 ; the 

Lions of the, 344 
Arundel and Surrey, Alethea, 

Countess of, 293, 295-305 
Arundel and Surrey, Earl of, 295, 

Asolo, I 

Astolphus, King of the Lombards, 5 
Athens taken by the Venetians, 343, 

Attila, King of the Huns, i, 2, 

Aurora Borealis, 28 

Badoer, a conspirator, 129, 131 

Badoer, Albano, 208 

Badoeri. See Partecipazio 

Baldwin, son of Godfrey of Bou- 
logne, afterwards King of Jeru- 
salem, 63, 66, 67, 69-72 

Baldwin 11, Count of Flanders, after- 
wards Emperor of the East, 84, 92, 
93, III, 117 

Ballotino, The, 142 

Barbarigo, Agostino, Doge, 234, 

237. 238 
Barbarigo, Marco, Doge, 234, 

Barbaro, Marco, 164, 165 
Barbo, 183 

Barbo, Pantaleone, 91-93 
Barbolano, Pietro, Doge, 52 
Bardi, Pandolfi, Count of Verino, 

267, 268 
Barnabas, St., 20 
Baseio, Giacomo, Podesta of Chiog- 

gia, 96 
Basil 11, Emperor, 42, 43, 48 
Basso, Sultana, 281 
Bebbe, Tower of, 95, 196 
Bedmar, Spanish Ambassador, 289, 

Belhni, Gian, his portrait of Doge 

Loredano, 237 
Beltrame, a furrier, 165, 166, 168 
Bembo, Giovanni, Doge, 287 
Benedetto, Friar, 182, 183 
Bentivoglio of Bologna, 268 




Berengario li, King of Italy, 31, 33, 35 
Bernini, Giovanni Lorenzo, 347 
Bichir Aga, Turkish Governor of 

Santa Maura, 337, 338 
Biretta, The Ducal, 15, 174, 182, 226, 

Black Death, The, 154 
Boccolis, Giovanni, 191 
Bocconio, Marino, 122, 123, 132 
Bohemund, de Brienne, King of 

Servia, 107, 128 
Bonaventura, father of Pietro, 267 
Bonaventura, Antonio, supposititious 

son of Bianca Capello, 269 
Bonaventura, Bianca. See Capello 
Bonaventura, Gian Battista, uncle 

of Pietro, 267 
Bonaventura, Pellegrina, daughter of 

Bianca Capello, married to Benti- 
^, vogUo, 268, 269 
Bonaventura, Pietro, married to 

Bianca Capello, 266-268, 270 
Boniface, Marquis of Montferrato, 

88, 89, 92, 93 
Borbolani family, their feud with the 

Polani, 24 
Borghese, Cardinal, afterwards Pope 

Paul v, 281, 282 
Borgia, Cesare, Duke of Valentino, 

239. 240 
Borgia, Roderigo, Pope, Alexan- 
der VI, 238 
Bosio, Casa, 107 
Bragadino, Gian Battista, 289 
Bridge of Sighs, The, 227 
Brondolo, 4, 11, 27 
Browning, Robert, his Sordello, 

quoted, 104 
Brutus, 316 
Bucintoro, The, 15, 46, 142, 161, 170, 

175, 189, 216, 217, 233, 275, 336 
Bulls. See Papal 
Buonaparte, Napoleon, and Venice, 

Byron, Lord, his Marino Faliero, 

159, 160 

Caesar, 316 

Calendario, Filippo, sculptor, 165, 

Calixtus II, Pope, 65, 66 
Calle dei Fabbri, 129 
Caloprini, Domenico, Bishop of 

Torcello, 25, 26 
Caloprini, Stefano, 40 
Caloprini family feud with the 

Morosini, 40, 41 
Cambray, The League of, 238, 240, 

241, 246, 251, 258 
Campanile, Venice, 38, 113, 144 
Canale, Guido da, 109, 128, 136 

Candia, 176 ; siege of, 321-330 

Candiano, Giovanna, Dogaressa, wife 
of Pietro iv, 34, 35 

Candiano, Gualdrada, Dogaressa, 
second wife of Pietro iv, daughter 
of Hubert of Tuscany, 35-39 

Candiano, Pietro i. Doge, 29, 65 

Candiano, Pibtro ii. Doge, 32, 33 

Candiano, Pietro hi. Doge, 32-34 

Candiano, Pietro iv. Doge, son of 
Pietro III, 33-38 

Candiano, Stefano, 25 

Candiano, Vitale (i). Doge, brother 
of Pietro iv, 32, 40 

Candiano, Vitale (2), son of Pietro iv, 
Archbishop of Grado, 34, 35, 37 

Capello, Bartolommeo, 267 

Capello, Bianca, daughter of Bar- 
tolommeo, afterwards wife of 
Pietro Bonaventura, and of Fran- 
cesco de Medici, 266-272 

Capello, Pellegrina, wife of Barto- 
lommeo, born Morosini, 266-268 

Capello, Vettore, 232 

Cardinals, Venetian, 181 

Cardona, Spanish captain, 247 

Carita, Monasterio de la, Venice, 81 

Carlovitz, The Peace of, 349 

Carmagnola, Condottiere, 209-214 

Caro, Francesco, quoted, 348 

Caroso, Pietro, Doge, 21 

Carrara, Francesco i, of Padua, 169, 
171, 182, 183, 185, 194, 195 

Carrara, Francesco 11, " Novello," 
son of Francesco i, 194-199 

Carrara, Francesco iii, son of Fran- 
cesco II, 198, 199, 215 

Carrara, Jacopo (i), of Padua, married 
to Anna Gradenigo, 145 

Carrara, Jacopo {2), son of Fran- 
cesco Novello, 197-199 

Carrara, Marsilio (i), nephew of 
Jacopo (i), 145, 148, 149 

Carrara, Marsilio (2), 183 

Carrara, Taddea, daughter of Jacopo 
(i), married to Mastino della 
Scala, 145 

Carrara, Uberto, 145, 148, 149 

Cassiodorus the Goth, i, 2 

Cassius, 316 

Castello. See Olivolo 

Caterina (Cornaro), Queen of Cyprus, 

Catherine of Egypt, St., 119 
Catherine de Medici, Queen Mother 

of France, 259 
Celsi, Lorenzo, Doge, son of Marco, 

ambassador to the Emperor, 172 ; 

account of as Doge, 173-177 ; 

adds a crucifix to the biretta, 174, 

182, 231 ; his horses, 174, 194 



Celsi, Marco, 173 
Cervantes, Michele, 261 
Cesareo, Secretary, 295 
Charlemagne, 6, 7, 9, ii, 17, 80 
Charles iv, Emperor of Germany, 

formerly King of Bohemia, 155, 

159, 160, 171 
Charles v. Emperor, formerly 

Charles I of Spain, 254, 272 
Charles vi. Emperor, 351 
Charles, son of James i, afteirwards 

Charles i of England, 290, 306 
Charles vii of France, 238 
Charles ix of France, 263 
Charles of Anjou, Tyrant of Naples 

and Sicily, 116, 117 
Charles 11 of Naples, 124 
Charles i of Spain. See Charles v. 

Charobert, King of Hungary, 137, 

Childeric iii. King of the Franks, 5 
Chioggia, 4, 11, 31, 95, 96. 183-189, 

Christopher, Bishop of Olivolo, 6 
Christopher, Patriarch of Grado, 2 
CicoGNA, Pasquale, Doge, 273, 274 
Clement v. Pope, 124, 135-138 
Clement vi. Pope, 152, 153, 157 
Clement vii. Pope, 254 
Clement vin. Pope, 275-277 
Clement ix, Pope, 329, 330 
Clement xi. Pope, 349 
Clement xiii. Pope, 354 
Coinage of Venice, 117, 118, 235 
Colonna, Admiral, 260 
Columbus, Christopher, 243 
Comets, 27, 49 
Commachio, 11, 27, 28 
Concordia, i, 31 

Conrad in, Emperor of Germany, 65 
Constantine ix. Emperor, 42, 43 
Constantinople, its early relations 

with Venice, 2, 4 ; siege of, 90, 

91 ; proposed as the capital of the 

Venetian Republic, 97-100 ; re- 
volution in, no. III 
Contarini, Captain of the Fleet, 29 
CoNTARiNi, Alvisb, Doge, 322, 335 
Contarini, Andrea (i). Doge, 173, 

207, 211 ; account of as Doge, 

Contarini, Andrea (2), 211, 212 
Contarini, Antonio, 248 
Contarini, Carlo, Doge, 323, 370- 

Contarini, Domenico, Doge, 53, 

Contarini, Enrico, Bishop of Cas- 

tello, 62, 63 
Contarini, Federigo, Captain, 213 


Contarini, GiAcomo, Doge, 115, 116, 

Contarini, Lucrezia, married to 

Jacopo Foscari, 211, 218 
Contarini, Nicolo, Doge, 309-311, 


Contarini, family, 29, 225 

Corfu, 55, 56, 67 ; siege of, 351 

Cornaro, Captain of the Fleet, 29 

Cornaro or Corner, Alvise, son of 
Giovanni, 309, 312 

Cornaro or Corner, Caterina, Doga- 
ressa, wife of Marco, 178-180 

Cornaro, Caterina, Queen of Cyprus. 
See Caterina 

Cornaro, Federigo (l), 248 

Cornaro, Federigo (2), Cardinal, son 
of Giovanni, 308, 309, 313 

Cornaro, Francesco (i), son of Gio- 
vanni, 309, 312 

Cornaro, Francesco (2), Doge, 323 

Cornaro, Giorgio, 314-316 

Cornaro, Giovanni (i). Doge, 306- 

Cornaro, Giovanni (2), Doge, 349 

Cornaro, Lorenzo, Admiral, 325 

Cornaro, Marcantonio, Dean of St. 
Mark, brother of Giovanni (i), 309 

Cornaro or Corner, Marco, Doge, 
Councillor, 166; Ambassador to 
Avignon, 152, 153, 160 ; Ambas- 
sador to the Emperor, 160, 172; 
imprisoned by the Duke of Austria, 
172, 173 ; return to Venice, 175 ; 
his plebeian marriage, 178 ; as 
Doge, 178-181 

Corner. See Cornaro 

Como, The, 15, 117; and see Biretta 

Corraro, Angelo, afterwards Pope 
Gregory xii. See Gregory 

Corraro, Antonio, Avogador, 330, 

333. 334 

Corretiori delta Promissione Ducale, 
102, 103, 109, 355-360. 370, 371 

Corsairs. See Pirates 

Corte Nuova, Battle of, 105 

Costanza, Dogaressa, Queen of Cal- 
abria, daughter of Tancred of 
Sicily, second wife of Hetro Ziani, 
97, 98, 103 

Crescimir of Croatia, 44 

Crete, taken by the Turks, 319-329 

Cromwell, Oliver, 333 

Cross, The True, 64 

Crotta, Claudio, Secretary to Pope 
Clement viii, 275 

Crusades, 18, 19, 61, 62, 84, 143, 171, 
175, 181, 231-233, 259, 260 

Cyprus, 233, 234, 259-262, 317 ; 
King of, 152, 171 ; Queen of — see 



Dalmatia, Venetian lordship over, 
lo, II, 56, 106, 170 

Dalmaz, Margharita, second wife of 
Paolo Renier. See Renier 

Damascus, The Bang of, 71 

Damiani, Pietiro, chronicler, 56-58 

Dandoli, their quarrel with the 
TiepoU, 112 

Dandolo, Captain of the Fleet, 29 

Dandolo, a noble, 183 

Dandolo, Andrea, Doge, his Annals, 
56, 57, 65 ; account of, as Doge, 

Dandolo, Dogaressa, wife of Fran- 
cesco, 142, 143 

Dandolo, Enrico (i), Archbishop of 
OMvolo, 74 

Dandolo, Enrico (2), Doge, account 

" of as Doge, 84-93 ; referred to, 
116, 152, 170, 380 

Dandolo, Francesco, Doge, sur- 
named Cane, his mission to Avig- 
non, 127, 138, 139 ; account of as 
Doge, 142-150 

Dandolo, Giovanni (i), 112 

Dandolo, Giovanni (2), Doge, 115, 
119, 168 

Dandolo, Giovanni (3), 164 

Dandolo, Marco, 216 

Delfino, Daniele, Proveditor, 339 

Delfino, Giovanni, Doge, 169-173 

Demetrius, Despot of the Morea, 
brother of the Emperor John 
Paleologus, 216, 217 

Dircislaus, King of Croatia, 44, 45 

Dogaressa, The, 103 ; coronation 
and state entry of, 142, 143, 258, 
259, 274, 275, 321, 346, 347, 352, 
362 ; dress of, 230, 274 ; funeral 
of, 236, 277, 278, 381 

Dogaresse. See under Ducal names 

Doge, Doxe or Duke, The title of a, 
2 ; office of, 3 ; income of, 141 ; 
deposition of a, 226, 227 

Doges, election and enthronement 
of. 53. 54. 78. 79. 113, "9. 120, 
142, 143, 178, 208, 209, 259, 273, 
274, 338, 339 ; funerals of, 112, 
133, 140, 141, 229, 277, 278, 381 ; 
portraits of, 180 

Dolfin or Dolfino, Daniele, 309 

Dolfin or Dolfino, Franceschina, 
married to the son of Doge Priuli, 

Dolfin or Dolfino, Pietro, 376 

Dominic, St., 108 

Donato, a Councillor, 314 

Donate, Andrea, brother of Ermolao, 

Donato, Ermolao, 221, 222 

Donato, Francesco, Doge, 257, 258 

Donato, Leonaedo, Doge, Ambas- 
sador to Spain, 259, 260 ; account 
of as Doge, 279-286 

Donato, Marco, 129, 130 

Donato, Nicolo, Doge, brother of 
Leonardo, 286, 287 

Donatus, St., 73 

Doria, Filippo, Genoese General, 154, 
157, 158, 186 

Doria, Ottone, Genoese Commander, 

Doria, Paganino, Genoese Admiral, 

Durac, a corsair, 325 

Durazzo, siege of, 55 

Earthquakes, 98, 100, 117, 153, 154 
Eccelino, Count, afterwards Duke of 

Bavaria, 46 
Edward 11 of England, 124, 140 
Edward in of England, 143, 151, 175, 

Elmo, Alvise, 375 
Emmanuel, Commeno, Emperor, 75, 

Emo, PietrO, 195 
English Ambassador, The, 276 ; and 

see Wotton 
Equilo or Jesolo, 3, 4, 12 ; Bishop 

of, 25 
Erizzo, an Inquisitor, 334 
Erizzo, Francesco, Doge, 318-320 
Este, Azzo I, Marquis d', 123 
Este, Azzo III, Marquis d', 123, 124 
Este, Azzo VII, Marquis d', 109 
Este, Azzo d', brother of Niccolo, 

194. 195 
Este, Fresco d', natural son of 

Azzo III, 124, 125 
Este, Marino d", 27, 28 
Este, Niccolo, Marquis d', 194, 195, 

Este, Obizzo, Marquis d", 154 
Este, family of, 144 
Eugene, Prince, of Savoy, 352 
Excise, riots against the, iii, 112 

Fahero, Angelo, Procurator of St. 
Mark, 99-101 

Faliero, Cristina, wife of Marino (2), 
bom Contarini, 162, 163 

Faliero, Ludovica, Dogaressa, wife 
of Marino (i), bom Gradenigo, 
161-163, 168 

Faliero, Marino (i). Doge, Podesta 
of Treviso, 149; Ambassador to 
Avignon, 152, 153 ; Count of 
Valmarena, 159 ; account of, as 
Doge, 159-166 ; Proveditor at 
Zara, 160 ; his conspiracy, 161- 
166, 177, 191 ; execution, 166-168 



Faliero, Marino (2), nephew of 

Marino (i), x6z, 163 
Faliero, Ordelafo, Doge, 64, 65, 

Faliero, Dogaressa, wife of Ordelafo, 

Faliero, Vitale, Doge, 53, 59-61 
Famines in Venice, 49, 61, 114, 115, 

^ 127, 255 

Ferdinand of Aragon, King of Spain, 
238, 240, 258 

Ferrara, Castle of, 35, 36 ; war with, 
64, 106, 124-128, 138 ; Bishop of, 

Filgari, Pietro, Pope Alexander v. 
See Alexander 

Fireworks, 339, 340 

Flabianico, Domenico, Doge, his 
revolt against the Orseoh, 50-53 ; 
as Doge, 53 ; alluded to, 56, 78, 

Fortunatus, Bishop of Grado, 7-9, 
12, 17 

FpscARi, Francesco, Doge, 196, 
202, 204, 207, 230, 378 ; account 
of, as Doge, 207-228 ; his deposi- 
tion and death, 226-229 ; funeral 
of, 229 

Foscari, Jacopo, son of Francesco, 
married to Lucrezia Contarini, 211, 

Foscari, Marco, brother of Fran- 
cesco, 227 

Foscari, Marina, Dogaressa, wife of 
Francesco, bom Nani, 218, 219, 
227, 229 

Foscari, Paolo, Bishop of Venice, 
207, 211 

Foscari family, 234 

Foscarini, Antonio, Ambassador to 
England, accusations against, 292- 
305 ; execution, 296 ; said to 
have visited Lady Arundel, 302, 
303 ; posthumous vindication, 304, 

Foscarini, Isabella, Dogaressa, wife 

of Marco, 361 
Foscarini, Marco, Doge, and the 

Constitutional Question, 354-366 ; 

as Doge, 360-367 
Foscarini, Michele, his History of 

Affairs Venetian, 333 
Francis i of France, 254 
Franks, Kingdom of the, 3 
Frari, The. See Santa Maria 
Frederick 1, " Barbarossa," Em- 
peror of Germany, 80-83, 180 
Frederick 11, Emperor of Germany, 

Frederick, King of Bohemia, Count 

Palatine, 290, 291 

Frederick iv. King of Denmark and 

Norway, 349 
Frederick, King of Sicily, 140 
Friuli, its nobles and ecclesiastics 

humiliated by the Venetians, 74, 

75. "2 
Frost, A great, 349 

Galbaio, Giovanni, son of Mau- 
rizio (1), Doge, 6, 8 

Galbaio, Madrizio (1), Doge, 5, 6, 
17. 380 

Galbaio, Maurizio (2), son of Gio- 
vanni, Doge, 6-8 

Galileo, 280 

Gallipoli, victory of, 202 j 

Galuppi, Pasquale, 376 

Gama, Vasco da, 243 

Gaulo, Galla, of Equilo, Doge, 4 

Genoa, relations with Venice, 109, 
110, 152 ; independence of the 
Empire, 136 ; war with Venice, 
138 ; war with, 154, 155, 169, 184 

George, St., 150 

GhibelUne. See Guelph 

Giovanna, Archdiichess, wife of Fran- 
cesco de Medici, 268, 269, 270 

Giovanna, Queen of Naples, 153 

Gisello, foreman at Arsenal, 164, 165 

Giudecca, The, 264 

Giustinian, Belletto, 137 

Giustinian, Captain Giustiniani, 139 

Giustinian, Marcantonio, t>oge, 


Giustinian, Stefano, 134 

Giustinian, Taddeo, 185, 188 

Glass-making, 140, 359 

Gobba, a plot hatched in her house, 
182, 183, 194 

Godfrey of Boulogne, King of Jeru- 
salem, 61-63 

Goethe, in Venice, 369 

Golden Rose, The, bestowed upon 
Sebastiano Veniero, 264; upon 
Bianca Capello, 271 ; upon the 
Dogaressa Morosina Grimani, 275, 
276, 278; upon Doges, 276; upon 
Doge Francesco Loredano, 354 

Gonzaga, Giovanni Francesco,Marquis 
of Mantua, 203, 204, 213 

Gonzaga, Luigi of Mantua, 144, 147 

Gozzi, Gaspare, 376 

Gradenigo, Head of the Ten, 314 

Gradenigo, Anna, daughter of the 
Doge, married to Jacopo Carrara, 
145, X69 

Gradenigo, Bartolomeo, Doge, 150, 

Gradenigo, Giovanni B(i), murders 

Pietro Tradonico, 25 
Gradenigo, Giovanni (2), 39 _, 



Gradbhigo, Giovanni (3), Councillor, 
nicknamed "Nasone," 166; as 
Doge, 168, 169 

Gradenigo, Giovaniai (4), Ambas- 
sador to the Emperor, 172, 175. 

Gradenigo, Marco (i), Consul at Con- 
stantinople, III 

Gradenigo, Marco (2), Podesta at 
Padua, 145 

Gradenigo, Pietro, Doge, 11 9-1 39, 
145. 151, 169, 380 

Gradenigo, Tommeisina, Dogaressa, 
wife of Pietro, born Morosini, 

Grado, 12, 26, 29, 74 

Grado, Patriarch of, 2, 6, 7, 32, 36, 
43, 62, 65; and see Christopher 

Granada, King of, 191 

Gregory ill. Pope, 3 

Gregory ix, POpe, 124 

Gregory xi. Pope, 184 

Gregory xil. Pope, 201 

Gregory xiii. Pope, 276 

Grimani, Antonio, Doge, 249, 250, 

Grimani, Giovanni, Patriarch of 

Aquileia, 258 
Grimani, Marino, Doge, 274-277, 

279, 281, 286 ; tomb, 278 
Grimani, Morosina, Dogaressa, wife 

of Marino, born Morisini, 274-276 ; 

tomb of, 278 
Grimani, Pietro, Ambassador to 

England, Doge, 34, 352, 353 ; his 

learning, 354 ; his statue, 354 ; 

family, 234 
Gritti, Andrea, relieves Padua, 

244-246, 248 ; as Doge, 74, 251, 


Gritti, Francesco, son of Andrea, 
252. 253 ; family, 234 

Guarnerius of Greis, 63 

Guelph and Ghibelline, the feud be- 
tween, 80, 103, 124-126, 138 

Guerino, a monk, 39 

Guido, Marquis, son of King Beren- 
gario, 33 

Gniscard, Robert, 55, 56, 58 

Guiscard, Roger, 55 

Hay, Mrs., 292, 293 
HazUtt's Venetian Republic, 92 n. 
Henry ti. Emperor of Germany, 98 
Henry iii. Emperor, in Venice, 275 
Henry iv, Emperor of Germany, 55, 

Henry vii. Emperor of Germany, 

135-136, 172 
Henry vii of England, 238, 246 
Henry viii of England, 258 

Henry ill of France, 263 
Henry iv of France, 273, 286 
Henry, Prince, son of Frederick n, 

Henry, Prince of Wales, son of 

James i, 294 
Heraclea, 2-4, 52 ; destruction of, 

9, 21 ; rebuilt as Civita Nuova, 

Hodgson, Mr. F. C, quoted, 57, 166, 

Holy AlUance, 335, 337 
Horses, in Venice, 174, 194 ; bronze 

horses of St. Mark's, 186, 189 
Hubert, Marquis of Tuscany and 

Duke of Spoleto, 35, 36 
Hungary, war with, 169-172 
Huns, their invasion of Italy, i, 30, 


Hypatos, title of, 3 

Ibrahim, Sultan of Turkey, 319-322 
Infanta of Spain, The, 306 
Innocent m. Pope, 84, 87 
Innocent vj. Pope, 171 
Innocent ix. Pope, 337, 342 
Inquisitori, 102, 103, log, 237 
Irene, Duchess of Suabia, daughter 

of the Emperor Isaac, 88 
Isaac, Emperor, 88, 90 
Isabella, Queen of Spain, 240 
Isarello, Bertuccio, 164, 165 
Isidor, St., 73 
Ivan IV, Czar of Muscovy, 259 

James i of England, 290-292, 298, 

299. 304 
James 11, King of Cyprus, marries 

Caterina Comaro, 234 
Japanese Ambassadors, 275 
Jerusalem, 62, 68 ; King of — see 

Jesolo. See Equilo 
Jesuits, expulsion of the, 285, 362, 


John viii, Pope, 25 

John XXII, Pope, 215 

John III, Sobieski, King of Poland, 
335, 342 

John and Paul, SS., 108 

John Calojanni, Emperor, 66, 72 

John Cautacugenus, Emperor, 154 

John Paleologus, Emperor, 152, 216, 

Joseph II, Emperor of Austria, 365, 
376, 377 

Juan or John, Don, of Austria, ad- 
mired at Lepanto, 260 

Julius II, Pope, 239, 240, 241, 

Juno, 80 



Kflnigsmark, Garlotta, wife of 

General, 340 
Kfinigsmark, General, 339, 340 t 

Lace-making, 230 

Ladislaus vi of Hungary, 246 

Lagosta, victory of, 44 

Lando, Pietro, Doge, 249, 257, 258 

Leo III, Emperor, 3 

Leo V, Emperor, 17, 18 

Leo VI, Emperor, 31 

Leo in. Pope, 7, 9 

Leone, Paolo, 197, 198 

Leopold, Emperor of Austria, 335 

Lepanto, victory of, 260, 262, 359 

Library, The, Venice, 258, 273 

Libro, d'Oro, 369, 381 

Lionello, Secretary to the Senate, 
. 299. 303 

Lioni, Nicolo, 166 

Liutprand, King of the Lombards, 3 

Lombard League, 103, 104 

Lombards, The, their invasion of 
Italy, 1-3, 5, 6 

Longhena, Ealdassare, 318 

Loredano, Alvise, son of Leonardo, 245 

Loredano, Bernardo, son of Leon- 
ardo, 245 

ILoredano, Francesco, Chief of the 
Ten, 218, 219 

LoKEDANO, Francesco, Doge, 354, 

Loredano, Jacopo, 224 
Loredano, Leonardo, Doge, 237- 

249. 378 
Loredano, Lorenzo, son of Leonardo, 

Loredano,PaoIo, Captain-General, 158 
Loredano, Pietro, 208 
Loredano, family of, 234 
Lothair, Emperor of the West, 21, 

23, 32 
Louis, Count of Blois, 84 
Louis I, King of France, 18 
Louis vii. King of France, 65 
Louis IX, King of France, 117 
Louis XII, King of France, 238, 239, 

241, 246 
Louis XIV, King of France, 350 
Louis the Great, King of Hungary, 

153, 160, 169, 171 
Louise of Savoy, mother of Francis i, 

Ludovico, Emperor, 17, 24 
Luprio, monastery of the Holy Cross, 


MachiaveUi, Nicolo, 212 

Malamocco, 4, 9, 16, 17 ; defence of, 
12, 13 ; old woman of, 13, 14 ; the 
devastation of, 21 ; Bishop of, 25 

Malatesta, Pandolfo, Lord of Fesaro, 

195. 203, 240 
Malipieri, The, 123, 234 
Malipiero, Giovanna, Dogaressa, wife 

of Fasquale, bom Dandolo, 230 
Malipiero, Orio, Doge, 75, 79, 84 
Malipiero, Pasquale, Doge, 228- 

Malta, Knights of, 319, 332, 337 
Manin, Ludovico, Doge, 376-382 
Mantua, war with, 318 
Marcello, Nicolo, Doge, 234 
Marchesina, Dogaressa. ' See Tiepolo 
Maria Theresa, Empress, 354 
Marini, Secretary, 356 
Mark, St., his body brought to 

Venice, ig, 20, 59-60, 61, 73 ; 

appears to the fishermen, 150 
Marlborough, Duke of, 349 
Martel, Charles, 5 

Martha, Doge Gritti's serving- 
woman, 253 
Martin iv. Pope, 116 
Marturio, Pietro, Patriarch of Grado, 

25. 26 
Mary i, Queen of England, 272 
Mastalici, The, their conspiracy 

against Giovanni Partecipazio, 21 
Master of the Soldiers, The, 2, 3, 4 
Matilda, Countess of Tuscany, 64 
Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, 

Maximilian, Emperor of Germany, 

238, 240, 244-246 
Mazarin, Cardinal, 321 
Medici, The, 254 
Medici, Cosimo de, 215 
Medici, Cosimo (i) de, Grand-Duke 

of Tuscany, 268 
Medici, Cosimo (3) de, Grand-Duke 

of Tuscany, 337 
Medici, Ferdinando, Cardinal, Grand- 
Duke of Tuscany, 272 
Medici, Francesco de, Grand-Duke 

of Tuscany, son of Cosimo (2), 

Medici, Giulio de (Pope Clement 

VII ?), 254 
Memmo, Jacopo, Chief of the Forty, 

son of Marin, 227 
Memmo, Marcantonio, Doge, 278, 

Memmo, Marin, 227 
Memo, Tribuno, Doge, 22, 40, 41 
Merceria, The, 130 

Michael the Stammerer, Emperor, 18 
Michael vni, PaleologuS, Emperor, 

MicHiELi, DoMENico' (i), Doge, 63- 

73. 75 ; styled Terror Graecorum 

and Laus Venetorum, 73 



Michieli, Domenico (a), son of 

Domenico (i), 66 
Michieli, Giovanni, son of Vitale, 

62. 63, 73 
Michieli, Leonardo, son of Vitale (2), 

Michieli, Lucchino, son of Domenico 

(I). 66 
Michieli, Niccolo, son of Vitale (2), 75 
MicHiELt, Vitale (i). Doge, 61-64 
Michieli, Vitale (2), Doge, 73-77, 

Michieli, Vitale (3),' sent on an em- 
bassy to the Emperor Henry, 137 
Milan, Duchess of, 195 
Mirandola, Duke of, 331 
Mocenighi family, 234 
MocENiGO, Alvisb (i), Doge, 258- 

264, 275 ; his monument, 278 
MocENiGO, Alvise (2), Doge, 349 
MocENiGo, Alvise (3) Sbbastiano, 

Doge, 352 
MOCENIGO, Alvise (4), Doge, 361, 

Mocenigo, Giovanni (i). Councillor, 

Mocenigo, Giovanni, Doge, brother 

of Pietro, 234, 236 
Mocenigo, Lazzaro, Captain-General, 

Mocenigo, Leonardo (i), 213 ; Cap- 
tain-General at Candia, 321-323, 

327, 331 
Mocenigo, Ketro (i), 185 
Mocenigo, Pietro (2), Doge, 234, 

Mocenigo, Fisana, Dogaressa, wife of 

Alvise Sebastiano, born Comer, 

352, 353 
Mocenigo, Taddea, wife of Giovanni, 

bom Michiel, 236 
Mocenigo, Tommaso, Doge, 202- 

207, 209 ; his speech quoted, 204- 

Mocenigo, Zaccaria, last Doge of 

Crete, 329 
Mohammed iii. Sultan, 281 
Molini, a traitor senator, 182, 183 
Molini, Alessandro, Captain-General, 

345. 346 
MoLiNO, Francesco, Doge, 320-323 
Molmenti, his Dogaressa quoted, 369 


Montferrat, Marquis of, 154 
Morea, conquest of, 338-345 
MoRO, Cristoforo, Doge, 231-234, 

248 ; family of, 234 
Morosini, Captain of the Fleet, 29 
Morosini, a traitor senator, 182, 183 
Morosini, historian, 279, 285 
Morosini, Dombnico, Doge, 73 

Morosini, Francbsco, Doge, styled 
" Peloponnesiaco," 323, 343, 380 ; 
Captain-General, at Candia, 323- 
329 ; negotiates the capitulation 
of Crete, 330 ; his trial, 330-335 ; 
Captain-Geaieral in the expedition 
against the Morea, 335-342, 351 ; 
receives the cap of maintenance 
from the Pope, 342 ; returns to 
the Morea, 344 ; dies in Nauplia, 

345 . ^. 
Morosini, Giovanm, son-m-law of 

Pietro Orseolo, 39, 41 
Morosini, Marino, Doge, 103, 108, 

Morosini, Michele (i), 107 
Morosini, Michele (2), Doge, 189, 

Morosini, Tommasina, Queen of 

Hungary, 119 
Morosini, Tommaso, Patriarch of 

Constantinople, 93 
Morosini, Vincenzo, 273 
Morosini, the family, feuds with the 

Caloprini, 40, 41 
Murad, Sultan of Turkey, 281 
Muscorno, Secretary to the Fos- 

carini, 292-294 
Museo Civico, 347 

Nani, Antonio, 307, 308 

Narentine pirates, war with the, 43- 

Navagero, Bernardo, chronicler, 15 ; 

his oration at Doge Gritti's 

funeral, 255 
Negropont, lost, 233 
Newton, Sir Isaac, 354 
Niceno, Cardinal, 233 
Nicephorus, Emperor, 17 
Nicolas, St., body of, 63, 64, 73 ; 

appears to a fisherman, 150 
Nicolas, St., the Less, body of, 63 

Obelerius, Bishop of Olivolo, 6 
Oliviero, servant of Jacopo Foscari, 

221, 222 
Olivolo, Bishop of, 36, 46, 50; and 

see Christopher Oblerius 
Orphans, Canal of the, 14 
Orseolo, Captain of the Fleet, 29 
Orseolo, Felicia, Dogaressa, wife of 

Pietro, 38, 41 
Orseolo, Giovanni, son of Hetro, his 

marriage, 48, 49, 52, 57, 58 
Orseolo, Icella, daughter of Pietro, 
married to Stephen of Hungary, 45, 
Orseolo, Maria, Princess, niece of the 
Emperor Basil, married to Gio- 
vanni Orseolo, 48, 49, 57, 58 



Orsbolo. Orso, Doge and Patriarch, 
s&n of Hetro, 52, 53 

Orsbolo, Ottone, son of Pietro (2), 
Doge, 49-53 

Orsbolo, Pibtro i. Doge, revolt 
against Pietro Candiano iv, 36 ; 
as Doge, 38-49, 109-380 

Orsbolo, Pietro ii. Doge, 40, 42-43 • 
assumes title of Doge of Venice and 
Dalmatia, 45 ; institutes " Wed- 
ding of the Adriatic," 46 ; receives 
Otto III, 46 ; separates from his 
wife, 49 

Orsbolo, Vitale, son of Pietro, 
Bishop of Torcello, Joint-Doge, 52, 

Orsini family, 239 

Orso, Deodato, Doge, son of Orleo, 4, 

Orso, Orleo, Doge, 3 

Ossuna, Spanish Viceroy of Naples ,288 

Otto I, Emperor of Germany, 34, 36- 

Otto III, Emperor of Germany, 43, 

Otto, son of Frederick Barbarossa, 


Padua, I, 4, 31 ; conquered by 

Venice, 198, 249 
Palace of the Doges. See Palazzo 

Palatine, The. See Frederick 
Palazzo Ducale, 16, 20, 38, 54, 74, 79, 

134, 140, 151, 161, 164, 167, 174, 

180, 253, 258, 263, 373 ; burnt, 36, 

37, 264, 265 
Palazzo Mocenigo. 295, 296 
Palazzo Morosini, 345 
Paleologos, Emperor. See John and 

Palladio, Andrea, 263, 264 
Papal Bans, Bulls, Edicts, and Inter- 
dicts against Venice, 125-127, 135- 

138, 240, 246, 276, 281-286 
Partecipazio (or Badoeri), Agnello, 

Doge, 16-18, 21, 121 
Partecipazio, Badoero, son of Orso, 

27, 28 
Partecipazio, Felicia (i), Dogaressa, 

wife of Giustiniani, 17, 20 
Partecipazio, Felicia (2), Dogaressa, 

wife of Orso (i), daughter of 

Rodoaldo of Bologna, 34 
Partecipazio, Giovanni (1), son of 

Agnello, Joint-Doge with ms father, 

17, 18, 20, 21 
Partecipazio, Giovanni (2), Doge, 

son of Orso (i), 27-30 
Partbcipazio, Giustiniano, Doge, 

17, 20 

Partecipazio, Orso (i). Doge, 

grandson of Agnello, 25-27, 34 
Partecipazio, Orso (2), Doge, 32 
Partecipazio, Pietro (i). Captain of 

the Fleet, 22 
Partecipazio, Pietro (2), son of 

Orso, 29 ; Doge, 32 
Patrasso, Archbishop of, 175 
Paul, St., 10, 20; and see John 
Paul V, Pope, 281 

Pepin le Bref , King of the Franks, 5, 6 
Pepin, King of Italy (2), son of 

Charlemagne, 6, 9, 11-13, 16, 31 
Pesaro, Giovanni, Doge, 314, 323 
Petadebo, 146 
Peter, St., 19, 20, 83 
Peter (Courtenay), Emperor, 98 
Peter iv. King of Aragon, 154 
Peter the Hermit, 61 
Petrarch, in Venice, 155-159, 175- 

184, 194 ; quoted, 167, 168, 176, 177 
Petronilla, FeUcita, widow of the 

Duke of the Arcliipelago, married 

to Nicolo Veniero, 192 
PhiUp of Austria, 272 
PhiUp, Duke of Burgundy, 231 
Philip III of France, 116 
PhiUp IV of France, 124 
Philip VI of France, 143, 151, 152 
Philip II of Spain, 259, 272, 273 
Philip, Duke of Suabia, King of the 

Romans, 88 
Piazza, The, 20, 54, 79, 83, 109, 129, 

130, 262, 359 ; tournaments on the, 

149, 176, 177 ; the Tree of Liberty 

planted on, 381 
Piazzetta, The, 109, 142, i5i, 174 
Piccolomini, Enea, 276 
Pietro Lusignano, King of Cyprus, 

175. 177 
Hg-hunt, The. See FriuU 
Pirates and corsairs, 22-24, 2^> ^• 

32, 42-45, 266, 319, 362 
Pisani, Domenico, 374 
Ksani, Giorgio, 370, 374 
Pisani, Vittore, Admiral, 154, 185, 

187, 189 
Pitigliano, Venetian General, 243, 245 
Pius li. Pope, 232 
Pius III, Pope, 239 
Pius V, Pope, 259 
Pius VI, Pope, 276 
Plague, The, in Venice, 49, 57, 58, 61, 

76, 190, 236, 254, 263, 264, 318 
Poictiers, battle of, 5 
Polani, Nicolo, 325 
PoLANi, Pietro, Doge, 73 
Polani family, 24, 123 
Polenta, Obizza da, of Ravenna, 197, 

Polignac, Abbfe de, 350 



PONTE, NlCOLO DA, Doge, 258, 275. 

281 ; as Doge, 265-273 ; his 

testament, 272, 273 
Ponte dei Crossechieri, 286 
Ponte del Malpassq, 129 
P/onle delta Paglia, 161 
Popes of the Eastern and Western 

Church compared, 9 
Porta delta Carta, 229 
Porta Lungo, 158 
Pozzi, The, 134 
Primocerio, or Dean of St. Mark's, 

The, 20 
Priuu, Antonio, Doge, 287, 305 
Priuli, Girolamo, Doge, 258 
Priuu, Lorenzo, Doge, 258 
Priuli, Zilia, Dogaressa, wife of 

Lorenzo, bom Dandolo, 258, 259, 

Prom,iss,iorii of the Doges, 102, 109, 

112, 142, 150, 159, 166, 177, 180, 

192, 194, 208, 214, 228, 231, 235, 

236, 237. 249. 253, 306, 309, 311, 

312, 314, 316, 317, 320, 360 

Quarantia, or Forty, 120, 121 
Querini, Carlo, 127 
Querini, Jacopo, 126, 128-130 
Querini, Marco, Podesta of Ferrara, 

Querini, Nicolo, Admiral, 158 

Ragusa, 44, 45, 50 

Rambaldo, Count of Treves, 46, 47 

Ravenna, Council of, 25 ; conquered 

by the Venetians, 28 
Redentore, The Church of the, 264, 

286, 318 
Renier, Giustina, wife of Paolo, born 

Dona, Dogaressa, 368 
Renier, Margharita, second wife of 

Paolo, bom Dalmaz, 368, 369, 375, 

Renier, Paolo, Doge-Councillor, 

356, 360 ; as Doge, 364-376, 378 
Rhodes, Knights of, 143, 171 
Rialto, 6 ; made the capital of 

Venice, 16 ; fortified, 30 ; bridge, 

131, 273, 274 
Richard 11, King of England, 191 
Ring of the Doge, 82, 226 
Ring of St. Mark, 150 
Riva, Jacopo, Proveditor, 323 
Rivoalta. See Rialto 
Robert, King of Naples, 137 
Robert iii. Count of Flanders, 140 
Exjbinson, Dr. John, Bishop of 

Bristol, 350 
Rodoaldo, Duke of Bologna, 34 
Rodolph, Duke of Austria, 172, 174, 


Roger, King of the Two Sicilies, 73,103 
Romana, sister of Felicia Parteci- 

pazio, 20 
Romanin, referred to and quoted, 56, 

57, no, 186, 190, 191, 221, 256, 

273, 304 
Romano, Eccelino da, 104, 105, 147 
Romans, King of the, 242 
Rome, casts off the dominion of the 

Greeks, 5 
Rossi, Pietro de, 147, 148 
Rosso, Giustina, her mortar casement, 

Rudolph II, Emperor of Germany, 

265, 266 

at Utrecht, 349-352 ; as Doge, 


Sade, Laura de, 154, 184 
Sagredo, Giovanni, CavaUere, 333 
Sagredo, Nicolo, Doge, 332 
Salboro, battle of, 82 
Salinguerra, Torelli, Governor of 

Ferrara, 106, 107 
San Agostinp. 108, 113, 114, 131 
San Andrea, island of, 190, 191 
San Basso, 130 
San Daniele, 108 
San Domenigo, Church and Monastery 

of. 135 
San Francesco di Paolo, 273 
San Geminiano, 83, 84, 236 
San Giobbe, Church and Monastery 

of, 235, 255 
San Giorgio, island and church, 

41. 73. 198. 199. 285 
San Giorgio Maggiore, Monastery, 

84, 97, 134, 200 ; Abbot of, 97 
SS. ijiovanmi i Paolo, 108, 112, 115, 

167, 236, 277, 278, 347, 376 
San GiuUano, 130 
San Giuseppe di Castello, 278 
SS. Ilario 6 Benedetto, Abbey of, 18, 37 
San Jacopo, 63 

San Lorenzo, Monastery of, 18 
San Marco, BasiUca of, 20, 38, 54, 59- 

62, 65, 81-83, 85, 86, 109, 113, 141, 

142, 176, 189, 278, 359 ; Pillar of, 

79 ; Procurator of, 132, 140, 150, 

173 ; Lion of, 189 
San Marcuola, 41 
San Matteo, 129, 131 
San Panialeone, 226, 228 
San Pietro, in Castello, 6, 21, 40, 43 
San Polo, 108, 314 
San Servolo, 47 
San Severe, 17 
San Stefano, 199 
San Teodoro, 16, 20, 38, 54 ; Pillar 

of, 79 



San Toma, 107 

San Zaccaria, Church and Convent 
of, 18, 20, 24, 25, 30, 35, 40, 41, 49, 

Sanitary laws, 255, 343 
Sansovinb, 258 

Sant' Ilario, Monastery of, 32, 39, 40 
Santa Giustina, 102 
Santa Maria dei Frari, 229, 236, 289 
Santa Maria delta Saltae, 318, 336 
Santa Maria Formosa, 108, 286 
Santa Martina, 108 
Sanudo, Marino, 242, 255 
Saracens, The, 22-24, 48 
Sarfatti, biographer of Manin, 364 
Sarpi, Paolo, Servite Father, 280, 

281, 284 
Scala, della, or Scaligeri, Alberto, of 

Verona, 144, 145 
Scala, Brumoro della, 215, 216 
Scala, Mastino della, 144-147 
Scala dei Gieanti, The, 166, 227, 361 
Scaligeri, The, 144, 154 ; and see Scala 
Schiavoni, Riva dei, 174, 175 
Scutari, 89, 233 
Selvo Domenico, Doge, 53-59, 108, 

Selvo, Theodora, Dogaressa, Grecian 

Princess, wife of Domenico, 55-58 
Seminario Patriarcale, 149 
Serrata del Consiglio, The, 120-122, 

132. 134 

Sforza, Francesco, Condottiere, after- 
wards Duke of Milan, 215, 218, 220, 
223, 254 

Shakespeare, William, 262 

Sicilian Vespers, The, 117 

Sigismund, Emperor of Germany, 
202, 203, 213, 216 

Signori di Notte, 130, 140-143, 222, 

Sivos, chronicler, 280 

Sixtus IV, Pope, 276 

Slave Trade, The, 10, 26, 34 

Smyrna, defence of, 152, 153 

Soranzo, Venetian BaiUfi of Constan- 
tinople, 322 

Soranzo, Dogaressa, wife of Giovanni, 

Soranzo, Giovanni, Doge, 124, 127, 

137-141 , 
Spineto, Tourney of, 95 
Steno, MiCHELE, Doge, his insult to a 

lady of Doge FaUero'S family, i6i- 

164, 191 J imprisoned, 186 ; in 

the expedition against Genoa, 186 ; 

as Doge, 192-201 ; and the Avoga- 

dori, 193. 194 
Stephen, St., bones of, 64 
Stephen, King of Hungary, son of 

Crescimir, 44, 45. 66, 72 

Storms and inundations, 117, 150 
StrafEord, Lord, 350 

Taglioni, Marcello, Doge, 3 
Tancred, King of Sicily, 63, 97 
Teck, Louis de, 202, 203 
Theobald, Count of Troyes, 84 
Theodora, Dogaressa. See Selvo 
Theodoric the Great, i 
Theodosius, Emperor, 22 
Tiepoli, The, their quarrel with the 

Dandoli, 112 
Tiepolo, Bajamonte or Bohemund, 

son of Jacopo, 128-132, 135, 159 
Tiepolo, Giacomo (i). Doge, Viceroy 

of Constantinople, 98 ; as Doge, 

Tiepolo, Giacomo (2), son of Lorenzo, 

115, 118, 119 
Tiepolo, Giovanni, Count of Ossero 

son of Giacomo (i), 103, io5, 107 
Tiepolo, Gualdrada, Dogaressa, 

second wife of Giacomo, daughter 

of Tancred of Sicily, 103 
Tiepolo, Jacopo, son of Lorenzo, 128, 

Tiepolo, Lorenzo, Doge, son of 

Giovanni, 103, 107, 108, 116, 128 ; 

as Doge, 112-115 
Tiepolo, Marchesina, Dogaressa, wife 

of Lorenzo, daughter of Bohemund 

of Servia, 107, 113, 114, 119, 128, 

Tiepolo, Maria, Dogaressa, wife of 

Giacomo, born Sterlato, 103 
Tiepolo, Nicolo, 139 
Tiepolo, Pietro, son of Giacomo (i), 

Tiepolo, Soranza, wife of Nicolo, 

daughter of Giovanni Soranzo, 139, 

Tiepolo conspiracy. The, 256 
Tino, Domenico, 54 
Tintoretto, Jacopo, 263 
Torelli, Salinguerra, 123, 124 
Tradonico, Pietro, Doge, '22-25, 32 
Trajan, Emperor, 157 
Trapani, battle of, iii 
Travessera of Ravenna, 106 
Trent, Council of, 265 
Treviso, 104, 105 
Tribunes, 2, 5 

Tribuno, Andrea, Doge, 29-31 
Tribuno, Angela, mother of Pietro, 30 
Tribuno, Pietro, Doge, entitled 

Protospatrio, 31 
Tripoli, Count of, 70 
Tron, Caterina Dolfin, quoted, 377 
Tron, Dea, Dogaressa, wife of Nicolo, 

born Morosini, 235 
Tron, Filippo, son of Nicolo, 238 



Tron, NicoLo, Doge, 234-236, 238, 

Tron family, 234 
Tunis, Sultan of, 140 
Turkey, Sultan of, 246, 259 
Turkey, war with, 318-346, 351 
Tuscany, Grand-Duke of, 277 ; and 

see Medici, Cosimo and Francesco 
Tyre, siege of, 69-71 

Urban vi. Pope, 180, 181 

Urban viii. Pope, 308 

Vscocchi, pirates, 266 

Usunhasan, leader of the Persians,233 

Utrecht, Peace of, 349-351 

Valier, Beetuccio, Doge, 323 ; 
tomb of, 347 

Valier, Elisabetta, Dogaressa, wife of 
Silvestro, 346-348, 352, 353 

Valier, Silvestro, Doge, 346-348, 
352 ; tomb of, 347 

Vano, Girolamo, 295 

Veglia, Count of, 128 

Vendramin, Patriarch, 283, 284 

Vendramin, Andrea, Doge, 234, 236 

Vendramin family, 234 

Venedi, origin of the, 1 

Venice, beginnings of, I, 2 ; geo- 
graphical advantages, i, 10, 11, 15 ; 
growth of its Constitution, 2-4, 8, 
10. 38, 51-53. 78, 79. loi. 102, 118- 
123, 132, 133, 139, 193, 194, 208, 
214, 231, 237, 242, 249, 256, 257, 
288, 289, 353-360, 365, 366, 370 ; 
its allegiance to the Eastern 
Empire, 3, 5-7, 22, 45, 143, 216 ; 
its finances, 205-207 

Veniero, Antonio, Doge, 190-193, 
195, 222 

Veniero, Luigi, son of Antonio, 191, 

Veniero, Nicolo, son of Antonio, 192 

Veniero, Sebastiano, 258, 264 ; at 
Lepanto, 260, 261, 339 

Vercellini, Steward to Lady Arundel, 

299, 300. 303 
Verme, Dal,VeroneseCondottiere, 176 
Verme, Victor Dal, son of the Con- 

dottiere, 177 
Verona, conquered by Venice, 200 
Veronese, Paolo, 263 
Victor IV, Pope (Schismatic), 81 
Vienne, Dauphin of, 152 
Villehardouin, Godfrey de, 85-87 

Virti, Conte di (Visconti), 181 

Visconti of Milan, The, 136, 144, 169 

Visconti, Azzo, 147, 148 

Visconti, Bianca, illegitimate 
daughter of Filippo, married to 
Francesco Sforza, 218 

Visconti, Filippo-Maria, son of Gio- 
vanni Galeazzo, 203-205, 210-213, 
215, 218, 229 

Visconti, Galeazzo, 198 

Visconti, Giovanni, Archbishop of 
Milan, 153, 154, 157, 160, 171 

Visconti, Matteo, 140 

Vittorio, Amadeo, Duke of Savoy and 
Sardinia, 349-351 

Wends, The, i 

William I, The' Conqueror, of Eng- 
land, 55 

WilUam, King of the Two SiciUes, 
son of Roger, 73 

Wotton, Henry, English Ambassador, 
290-292, 296-304 

Yolande, sister of Henry, Emperor 
of Germany, widow of Emperor 
Peter (Courtenay), 98 

Zaccharias, St., body of, 18 

Zane, 183 

Zara, 16, 18, 26, 29, 42, 44, 86-90, 
107, 137, 160 ; Doge of, 10 

Zecca, The, 258, 273 

Zeno, Captain of the Fleet, 29 

Zeno, Alvise, 355, 365 

Zeno, Carlo, Admiral, 188, 189, 195, 
196, 200 

Zeno, Loicia, Dogaressa, wife of 
Reniero, born da Prato, 109 

Zeno, Pietro, Captain, 136, 152 

Zeno, Renier, reformer, 306-318 

Zend, Reniero, Doge, 108-112 

Ziani, Costanza, Dogaressa, second 
wife of Pietro, daughter of Tancred 
of Sicily, Queen of Calabria, 97, 98, 

Ziani, Giorgio, son of Pietro, 96, 97 

Ziani, Marco, son of Pietro, 109 

Ziani, Maria, Dogaressa, wife of 
Pietro, born Baseio, 97 

Ziani, Pietro, Doge, son of Sebas- 
tiano, 94-103, 108, 109 

Ziani, Sebastiano, Doge, 75, 78- 
84, 94, 180, 376 

ZoRzi, Making, Doge, 134-137, 139 


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